The endowment fund to benefit district schools in Half Moon Bay, El Granada and Montara has reached its goal of $2 million, according to Melissa Rey, Executive Director of the Cabrillo Education Foundation.
"A few years back, many thought that $2 million was an unrealistic number to shoot for. Thanks to so many community members, both with and without kids in the schools, we reached this level," said John Ediger, Vice President of the fund and chair of the endowment's allocation committee. "People really understand how critical a top-notch education is for our future."
Created by the foundation's board of directors in 2006, the endowment fund was launched as a way to establish a self-sustaining resource for local schools to benefit from. Endowment funds are allocated as interest from the principal becomes available. The principal is maintained throughout the life of the endowment.
The Cabrillo Education Foundation anticipates allocating $80,000 - $100,000 — four to five percent of the $2 million amount — over the 2012-2013 school year.
To determine how that amount will be distributed, the fund's allocation committee is hosting a community meeting this Thursday evening at the Library in Half Moon Bay. The committee is tasked with soliciting input from teachers, donors, parents, district members, and education experts.
Attendees at Thursday's meeting will be asked to provide their ideas and communicate their priorities on what areas they think should receive funding in this first allocation of the endowment.
Ideas are also being gathered through an online survey, which can be accessed here.
After considering input from the community meeting and online survey, the committee will submit a formal recommendation to the foundation's Board of Directors in December. The board will then make the final decision.
Ediger (chair), Melissa Rey, Christine Mendonca, Diane Brosin, Valerie Dubois, Susan Stuart, Mark Loos, Rob Kuiper, Jill Ballard and Pete Fingerhut all serve on the committee. Members are required to provide donors with an oversight plan which tracks the results of the funds' impact on the district's schools and its students.
Ediger emphasized that although the $2 million goal has been reached, the foundation seeks to raise even more money.
"Our goal is $2.5 million by end of 2011 and then keep going in subsequent years to $3 million, $5 million and up," he said.
As the principal in the endowment grows, so will the annual distributions, he said, allowing the district to "continually and strategically improve education."
"We must do better than just doing fundraisers each year only to stay at the same funding levels — or lower [funding levels] due to cuts — and then start over again each and every year," Ediger said. "Every donation we make into the endowment continues to pay dividends for the kids for years to come."
The Cabrillo Education Foundation plans to host an event in September celebrating the endowment fund's $2 million milestone.
The community meeting will take place at the Cunha Intermediate School Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 11. Cunha is located at 600 Church Street in Half Moon Bay. For more information, contact the Cabrillo Education Foundation at (650) 726-7871.