Demopolis City Schools Foundation celebrates 30 years

Published 12:51 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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By Andrea Burroughs

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation (DCSF) celebrated its 30th anniversary Feb. 22. The event was held at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum. 

The program consisted of a rundown of how the foundation did in 2023, recognition of endowments, recognition of contributors and a message from guest speaker Amanda Pendergrass.

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Director of the DCSF, Margaret Anne Gilchrist, provided a brief presentation of “2023 by the numbers, where she broke down the total amount of money the foundation raised and gave away in 2023. In the fall of 2023, the foundation awarded 12 grants for a total of $46,293.79, and $1,817,255.69 in total assets. The foundation had $1,627,426.59 in endowment funds, $11,940 on Giving Tuesday, 370 Gratitude Grams, and $1,423 was raised at Trivia Nights at Batter Up.

“This is an awesome time. It’s been a great year for us and a great year to celebrate. Since the inception of the foundation, we’ve been able to award over $1.5 million back to the school system, which is an awesome accomplishment,” said Gilchrist. “All of you should be proud of that, because without you, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Many long-time contributors were recognized at the celebration and given awards for their dedication to supporting the foundation. Gilchrist said these contributors have donated $10,000 or more since 2012. Some of those contributors were Marengo Insurance, the Demopolis Rotary Club, the Bargain Box, Georgia Pacific, and several others.

The speaker for the evening was Amanda Pendergrass who placed emphasis on how important a good school system is to a community. Pendergrass also highlighted the teaching staff in the Demopolis school system and spoke highly of the teachers her children have had in the six years they have lived in Demopolis.

“I am not from here. I came from a different area, and I have taught in different schools. But I have become part of this community,” said Pendergrass. “I am absolutely in love with our school system. I send my kids to school every day knowing they are in the best hands.”

Pendergrass said that as a mother, the most important thing is for her children are happy, healthy, safe and loved. She emphasized that these basic needs have to be met for children to thrive in a school environment.

“I want to thank you to the Demopolis City Schools Foundation because you all have played a key role in the excellence of the school system,” said Pendergrass. “The funding that the foundation provides goes straight into the hands of the teachers and that affects a child’s learning. They get to see teachers being valued by being given those grants, and they get to see that in action. We respect our teachers and that is something I really appreciate about Demopolis.”