What does golf have to do with education? In District 13, the answer is pretty clear.
The District 13 Educational Foundation will be hosting its first annual golf outing next year to raise money for the four elementary schools and buy additional resources for students. Leaders of the foundation, a mix of parents, teachers, community members and Board of Education trustees, are excited about the potential funds the event could generate.
The foundation hosted its first meeting of the 2012-13 school year on Oct. 3 and talked about a variety initiatives for the year, including the golf outing which will be held on June 24, 2013. “It’s something big to shoot for,” said Elaine Catalanotti, the foundation’s secretary. “Other groups have used it as their major initiative.”
In 1996, the Educational Foundation was formed as a way to provide additional resources for the schools. In the early 2000s, the group became dormant but was revived about six years ago. Catalanotti, a District 13 school board member in the 1980s and 90s, former PTA leader and retired teacher, got a call from board Trustee Bill Stris asking her to get involved. She was happy to do so. “I’ve been interested in education my entire adult life,” she said.
Catalanotti said the group’s membership has been growing steadily over the past few years and she hopes that trend continues.
One new member is Carole Hawkins, who recently retired after teaching at the James A. Dever School for 45 years. She is the group’s membership coordinator and her goal is too keep the foundation strong. “I would really love to see more people participate,” she said. “You could have really wonderful idea, really big ideas, but you need working hands.”
Hawkins added that the foundation is a way to provide more financial support to the schools without increasing the tax burden on local residents.
Toni Pomerantz, a teacher at Howell Road School and resident of District 13, said the Educational Foundation is a way to unite the district which covers five separate communities — Valley Stream, North Valley Stream, Franklin Square, Elmont and Malverne.
Her children attended Willow Road School and North High School. “I thought it was time for me to give back,” she said of why she got involved with the foundation six years ago. Pomerantz, a 30-year veteran of the teaching staff, is a board member for the Educational Foundation.
Since 1996, the group has given more than $50,000 worth of donations to the district. Items include SmartBoards, laptop computers, vests for the marching band and glass etchings for each school library. Additionally, it provides annual scholarships to graduating sixth graders and buys schools supplies for needy students.
“We’re looking to be able to contribute larger items,” said Catalanotti about why the golf outing is planned for the end of the school year.
Board of Education Trustee Frank Chiachiere, who attends numerous charitable golf outings every year, brought the idea to the foundation board. He said it is a way to bring people together for one big event and recognize the work of the organization.
The golf outing will be held at Lido Beach and include 18 holes of golf, lunch, dinner and raffles. “It’s quite an event,” he said. “It’s a labor of love to put this thing together.”
This year, the foundation will also host two family fun nights. One will be a Bingo night, and the other will feature a magician. In addition to the various events, the group raises money through grants. It will soon receive $30,000 secured from Sen. Dean Skelos for laptops and computer accessories.
A grant from CVS helped purchased school supplies and another donation from TeacherList.com paid for tissues and paper goods for the classrooms.
The Educational Foundation meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the James A. Dever School library.