Calling it her final act, South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF) outgoing president Megan Dostal presented a whopping check to the local school district last Tuesday night.
Joined at the podium by SPEF’s newest president, Michael Mayne, during the local Board of Education’s monthly meeting, the major contribution received a thunderous applause from audience members as $733,677 was turned over to the South Pasadena Unified School District in support of programs and services.
“The work that you all do as a board makes our job so much better and so much easier,” Dostal told the board, before wishing Mayne the best of luck in guiding SPEF during his presidency over the next two years.
Board members, who showed their gratitude by thanking the organization, were pleased to accept the hefty sum. With the oversized check as the centerpiece, they gathered with SPEF officials and Superintendent Geoff Yantz for photos inside the district boardroom as part of the approximately 90-minute meeting.
SPUSD President Suzie Abajian expressed her appreciation to SPEF “for all the work that you do throughout the year to fundraise for different programming for our students,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to provide the type of programs we do without these additional funds. Thank you for all that you do. We appreciate you. Our students appreciate you. Our community appreciates you.”
Board member Jon Primuth told Dostal and Mayne, “You guys keep doing amazing things. I’ve seen a lot of innovation (in SPEF over the years) and I know it’s going to continue, and thank you so much for all that you do.”
Acknowledging the organization’s hard work, Ruby Kalra, a board member, added: “I don’t think a lot of people know that you guys run summer school (and) after-school enrichment programs…It’s so many parent volunteers making that happen…I just want to thank you all because, as everyone has already said, we can’t possibly do what we do for the kids in the district (without these funds).”
Board Member Michele Kipke, who once served on the SPEF board, has watched the relationship between the organization and local school district evolve over time.
She stressed that today it couldn’t be better.
“Now the two are totally in synch,” she said. “You’re filling holes exactly where we need them to be filled. Thank you to SPEF, thank you to all the parents, thank you to our community and thank you to you for your leadership, both of you.”
Zahir Robb, the fifth member of the board to acknowledge the check, recognizes that long hours by a lot of dedicated people “yields those results,” he said, looking at the huge total raised. “It’s really a commitment of past members and current members”
Following the meeting, Yantz, who guides the district from the highest leadership position, weighed in, saying SPEF “is just a wonderful organization that is fully committed and dedicated, full of volunteers who make it happen every year. They raise funds that are absolutely critical to the operations of our school district. What they contribute is invaluable.”