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School Supporters Hope to Raise a Million Dollars

Jan 31, 2005 – Plans are under way for a telethon to raise money for the V.I. public school system. The goal, according to the organizers, is to raise one million dollars.
The plan was publicly aired Sunday before school principals and PTA presidents at the Palms Court Harborview Hotel. It was pitched by Alecia Wells on behalf of colleagues at the Department of Education Curriculum Center who came up with the idea.
Wells said the goal of this fund-raiser will be to help schools cover expenses that would go unmet because they don't qualify for funding or money wasn't available. "We're planning a telethon. Tentatively we have it scheduled for May 7," she said. "We're hoping that through this telethon we'll be able to get those areas covered, to have that money there, to be used for any school and any child."
Details for the fund-raiser are still being worked out. TV-2 is the expected venue for the fund-raiser, tentatively scheduled to air between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. At the Sunday meeting, there was talk of holding the event at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School.
Wells told the principals and PTA presidents that raising a million dollars may seem ambitious, but she said it can be done. She cited efforts individual school groups have made over the years to fund things like school trips, supply purchases and class projects."Hopefully, we will raise a million dollars and that is not impossible," she said.
Wells said the idea first came up at a meeting among staffers at the office of the district superintendent last November.
There was a discussion then of the different wants and wishes coming from the district's 17 schools. Many of those requests were unable to go forward because funds were lacking.
On Nov. 22, a letter went out from organizers to other school administrators, asking for support.
"It is our goal to include as many administrators, retired educators, chairpersons, teachers and PTA members as we possibly can in this event," the letter said. That letter was signed by Gerald Walters and Myrna van Beverhoudt as co-chairs of the committee.
Wells said principals from Ulla Muller Elementary School, Joseph Sibilly Elementary School, Antonio Jarvis Elementary School and the Jane E. Tuitt Elementary School have already signaled their support. At the Sunday meeting she called on PTA presidents to recruit support among parents at their schools.
Organizers say they want to get a jump on fund-raising by placing donation boxes at the various schools, hoping to collect anywhere from $1 to $1,000 in individual contributions.
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