Piedmont Education Foundation Celebrates 40 Years

 In News

Festive balloons and chatter filled the air at Thursday’s gathering to celebrate the founding of the Piedmont Education Foundation 40 years ago.  Sponsored in part by generous volunteers, and hosted by parent and PEF supporter Rob Williamson, over 60 donors were honored for their contributions to the Piedmont schools through the Foundation.

PEF board member, Giving Campaign rep and Endowment Co-Chair Jenny Lynn was pleased with the turnout and the opportunity to recognize the generosity of parents and community members.  “Thanks to our donors, Piedmont schools have classroom aides, breadth of electives at the secondary level, social-emotional curriculum, STEM and computer science curriculum, a Wellness Center, college counseling, math coaches, professional development, and support for arts and music programming.  Yes, we’re here to celebrate PEF — but we’re really here to celebrate our donors.”

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Attendees ranged from parents relatively new to the District, who are just learning about the importance of donating to the schools, to those for whom supporting the Ed Foundation is a long-standing habit of many decades.  Hort Shapiro (pictured above, far right with Paul and Andrea Swenson), veteran donor and former PEF board member from the 1980s, raised a glass to PEF’s continuing partnership with the community and the schools:  “I was involved decades ago, and so much remains the same.  We are still chronically underfunded by the state — even though now it’s my grandchildren who are in the schools.  Happily — PEF is still doing wonderful work rallying the community to help fill the gap.  It’s a great model and our community is lucky to have such a dedicated and energized group of volunteers.  Cheers and Happy Anniversary to PEF!”

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Younger parents, too, are learning to embrace the tradition — many choosing to make generous contributions to the PEF Endowment in addition to their donation to the Annual Fund.  The Endowment, valued at close to $6,000,000, not only provides funding in perpetuity for core programs, it serves as a bulwark against the notorious unpredictability of state funding.  Says Rebecca Thornborrow (pictured above with her husband Edward), “The reality in California is that our public schools need private donations in order to provide a high quality education for our children.  Knowing how essential PEF funds are — 8% of our budget — we will continue to write a check to the Giving Campaign every fall, and make sure the Endowment is included.  Thank you, PEF!”

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One of the first education foundations in the state of California, PEF was founded in 1975 in order to provide the Piedmont Unified School District with the means to assure educational excellence for all Piedmont students.  Forty years later, PEF has much to celebrate with a wonderful group of parents, alumni and community members who have helped fund essential programs and key initiatives.  Gifts of any size to the Endowment and Annual Fund are both welcomed through the PEF Giving Campaign in the fall.  The Giving Campaign is the largest annual fundraiser for the Piedmont schools, and so far has raised over $1,350,000 toward a goal of $2,000,000.   To make a donation or for more information, please visit PEF’s online donation page.

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Help PEF celebrate 40 years of excellence and innovation in the Piedmont schools by joining the Anniversary Circle with a 5-year pledge to the PEF Endowment Fund.  Gifts will benefit not only students today, but those in the years to come.  To learn more, please click here.




Photo credit:  Lindsay Barstow