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Donors Make History for SchoolPower

The foundation's annual Community Campaign phone-a-thon raised over $510,000.

Submitted by Kristi Cancellieri, SchoolPower VP of Public Relations:

With an unprecedented 64 parent volunteers manning the phones, SchoolPower’s annual Community Campaign phone-a-thon made history by raising more money, over $510,000, and reaching more donors, 612, than in its 30-plus years as Orange County’s flagship education foundation.

Every fall SchoolPower hosts its largest fundraiser, the Community Campaign, by harnessing the goodwill of parent volunteers who call upon every family in Laguna Beach schools for donations in support of public education. This year’s effort, led for the sixth time by Community Campaign V.P. Carol Normandin, saw a remarkable increase in the number of callers, donors and first-time contributors.

Helping to set the campaign on its record-breaking pace was the amazing generosity of the Martini Family, who not only offered to match all donations brought in on the fifth calling night but to double those coming from first-time donors. Their offer created such an enthusiastic response that the Martini’s initial projected donation of $25,000 grew to an unprecedented $64,654.

Key matching funds also came from longtime supporters Holly and David Wilson, who donated $25,000, and from a group of past and current SchoolPower trustees and Endowment Board members who collectively contributed an additional $45,200 to keep the matching momentum going.

"My dad always told me, ‘If you can turn a dollar into two by something you do, that is always a win-win,’ “ said Brent Martini of the inspiration behind the matching gift. “It's so satisfying to see these dollars deployed immediately in our kids' classrooms because the principals support cutting-edge ideas and the teachers are extremely enthusiastic to put committed resources right to work. The more we do as a community to support public schools, the more outstanding the educational experience will be for our kids."

Funds generated by SchoolPower’s Community Campaign support educational enhancements at all four Laguna schools: smaller class sizes, elementary school music and foreign language, TMS and LBHS performing arts, LBHS athletics, to name a few. Every teacher receives at least $200 for class use from the campaign and donors of $500 and above are able to designate 20% of their gift to specific teachers or school programs. This year a record $91,000 went directly to teachers and programs as a result of these donation designations.

“The money SchoolPower raises makes a difference in our schools—it makes them better now,” enthused SchoolPower president Samantha Washer. “Having a hugely successful campaign like this is so rewarding because we know what the district needs and the more we raise, the more needs we can meet. It’s also gratifying on a personal level because Carol Normandin works so tirelessly for our schools. To watch the SchoolPower trustees and the community as a whole follow her lead and rally around our schools in order to do things we’ve never done before was rewarding on all fronts.”

For a complete list of 2012-13 Community Campaign donors, visit the Laguna Beach Education Foundation’s website at lbschoolpower.org or call 949-494-6811.

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