Demopolis City Schools Foundation: Showing the way

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jamie Alich / Staff writer

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation held its 2006 Appreciation Celebration July 13th at the civic center.

“We’ve had another successful year this past year because of all the contributions made by the people of the town,” said Kim Townsend, Chairman, Resource Development and Membership Committee.

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The foundation supports programs, projects and equipment that a general education budget cannot pay for.

Since in the start of the program in 1993, the foundation has been awarded more than $500,000.

The program is designed to foster and promote excellence within the Demopolis public school system. Resources needed to effectively influence the success of students in the school system are provided.

“Not only do we know the positive effects of the foundation on our community, but other counties and the state now know the positive effects that the Demopolis City Schools Foundation has, not only on our students and teachers but also our community,” said Cecil Williams, mayor of Demopolis.

This year, with a donation of $500 to $999, partners included: Isaac Espy, William and Judilyn Horton, The Demopolis Times, E. Mabry Rogers, Melanie Germany, Hugh and Adrienne Overmeyer, Hudgens Insurance, Inc., Fred and Mary Rutledge, Mrs. C.W. Horton, W.H. and Amelia Traeger, Foster Farms, Inc., Frank and Lucette Osborne, Marengo Insurance, Inc. and Travis and Linda Burnham.

Patrons, with a donation of $1,000 to $4,999, included: Woody and Joy Collins, Drew and Genida Johnson, Rock-Tenn Paper Company, Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Claud and Cindy Neilson, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Parr’s, Inc., BankTrust of Demopolis, Rotary Club of Demopolis, Southern Tank Leasing, John Cox Webb, IV, Bryan W. Compton, Jr., Evans and Frank, Inc., Carolyn S. McCormick, U.S. Jones Grand Reunion and Robertson Banking Company.

Theo Ratliff Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, Friends of Education I, Cemex, Inc., John C. Webb and Marie Suttle Webb Foundation and Alabama Power Foundation made up the executive members. Executive members make donations of $5,000 to $24,999 yearly.

“I thank all of you for making it possible for our children, our teachers, and our parents to have the best education system possible for this rural area,” said Mayor Williams.

“We are continuing our tradition of selling barbeque on November 18th.

The 2006 Schoolfest broke all records of previous years by $6,000, and so far, we have raised more that$30,000 with this event. Tiger court, which has been a dream of ours for almost six years now, is currently under construction and will have a dedication ceremony soon,” said Townsend.

Through the foundation, teachers write grants and apply for funds. The Foundation Grants Committee reviews each request based on established criteria. No money is used for construction or repair of schools or to buy textbooks.

“Teachers are the way the river meets the road. Teachers are the ones that we want to help in this foundation; so most of our grants go to teachers who have ideas to communicate to our students, and that makes the difference between an average school system and a productive school system,” said Hugh Lloyd, president of Demopolis City Schools Foundation.