Catholic school board forms fundraising foundation

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Volunteers needed to run new organization

The head of St. Albert’s Catholic school board is looking for volunteers to head up a new district-wide charitable foundation.

Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools board chair Rosaleen McEvoy announced Monday that the board had created a district-wide education foundation to help with fundraising.

Foundations are non-governmental not-for-profit groups that support various social causes.

Alberta bishops have asked Catholic schools to avoid using casinos as a way to raise money, McEvoy said, so the board has been looking at alternatives. Inspired by the Calgary and Red Deer Catholic boards, local board members have decided to create a foundation to better focus the board’s fundraising efforts.

“We’re trying to look at other ways in which we can engage our community,” McEvoy said.

While residents can already donate to individual school associations or the board itself, this new group will be able to focus on district-wide fundraisers and put on events involving all students, said Deborah Schlag, secretary-treasurer for the division.

Foundations give parents, rather than school administrators, control over how money actually gets used, said Joan Trettler, chair of the St. Albert public board. “It’s a matter of raising money you have control over.”

Foundations can also put more time and energy into fundraising than school boards, added Terry Jewell, chair of the Sturgeon School Division, and can co-ordinate with school-based groups to share the wealth.

“It never ceases to amaze me how different schools raise money in different ways,” he said.

The St. Albert and Sturgeon public boards have not created foundations.

The education foundation will have nine members, McEvoy said, including a trustee, the secretary-treasurer and seven public representatives. It won’t actually be active until there are volunteers for those seven public seats.

The board is now looking for volunteers from the St. Albert, Legal and Morinville regions. For details, call McEvoy at 780-418-2641.

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Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.