Nearly 200 community members and education supporters gathered on Friday, Oct. 14 for the CUSD Foundation’s 10th annual “Helping Students Today & Tomorrow” fundraiser. By the end of the dinner and live auction, more than $20,000 had been raised through ticket sales and auction proceeds.
The money goes to scholarships for graduating Ceres high school seniors and teacher mini-grants that enhance learning for K-12 students.
“It’s inspiring to see our community and business partners come together to provide these opportunities for students,” said Ceres Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Denise Wickham. “Their support has a direct impact on CUSD students being able to pay for college and participate in unique activities that they might not otherwise get to experience.”
Prior to 2015, the CUSD Foundation was one of two nonprofits, along with the Ceres Education Foundation, established to benefit Ceres students. The two foundations merged in 2015, conjoining the visions of founding Ceres Unified School District Supt. Dr. M. Robert Adkison to support CUSD graduates in attaining post-secondary education, and community member Dave McConnell and former superintendent Dr. Walt L. Hanline to provide supplemental resources for current students. Since its inception in 2012, the annual fundraiser has raised more than $200,000 for scholarships and teacher mini-grants.
California State University, Stanislaus student Paola Campos shared by video during the Oct. 14 fundraiser how receiving a scholarship from the CUSD Foundation is helping her pursue higher education goals after graduating from Central Valley High School in 2021. Campos, who began attending Ceres schools in the first grade, said she hopes to return one day as a teacher.
“I was well accustomed to the resources and all of the opportunities the Ceres school district offered,” Campos recalled, but said “as a first-generation (college) student, I didn’t really know all of the costs and expenses associated with attending college. It was nice to see that I had a strong foundation in the community.”
The annual fundraising event also honors community members and organizations that go above and beyond for Ceres students and schools. Stan and Joyce Goblirsch were recognized as the “2022 Friend of Education” honor for their generous support of student athletes.
Tiffany Lionudakis, Pete Kirchhoff and Shauna Weeks were the high school, junior high school and elementary school “Volunteers of the Year,” respectively.
The Patricia Kay Beaver Leadership Magnet’s Parent Teacher Club received special recognition as the 2022 “Parent Organization of the Year.”
For more information or to donate to the CUSD Foundation, contact Julie Lynn Martin-Borba at email@example.com.