Two fourth-graders were the face of students of 23 Boca public schools. As Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation handed out a record $95,342.15 in extras ranging from literacy kits to whiteboards.
“We really rely on them,” Sandpiper Shores’ principal Stephanie Coletto said after the chamber breakfast Thursday where her students Evan Diaz and Morgan Clancy spoke.
Foundation president Chuck Stout said Golden Bell raises money from the city of Boca, fundraisers and corporate and individual donations for this annual giveaway.
Chamber director Ken Lebersfeld handed out the grants and Sandpiper Shores’ was typical. Theirs will pay for math and reading curriculums for students with autism; science and social studies texts and a virtual reading coach program. Olympic Heights High’s Mojo 3D printer received money for supplies.
West Boca Medical Center donated two hospital beds for Boca Raton Middle Schools’s pre-medical academy. The hospital’s CEO Mitch Feldman, a chamber director, was there.
Also in the mix was a grant for the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s student Express Yourself program from Michael Gora. Tim Snow accepted a donation earmarked for the George Snow Scholarship Fund that helps kids go to college.
Stout asked the 300 people in the Marriott ballroom to ante up another $3,000 on the spot for a challenge grant. A running tab on a large screen showed donations went over the top.
“Golden Bell helps Boca look after its own,” noted Susan Saturday, the chamber’s chairwoman-elect.
Speaker Dr. Donald Fennoy II thanked Boca and school board member Frank Barbieri for reaching out when his predecessor unexpectantly left, promoting him to superintendent. “It has been an interesting six months,” he said.