The space camp kids are creating a legacy fund to give back to the community that put them over the moon.
The Save Our Space Camp parent group met with the board of St. Albert Public Schools Monday and moved unanimously to create the Space Camp 2014 Legacy Fund with the cash left over from its recent trip to space camp.
City residents and organizations from across North America rallied last April to raise about $133,000 to send a group of 71 St. Albert students to space camp.
The students lost some $250,000 when the company organizing their trip to the Quebec Cosmodome collapsed, taking their money with it. A coalition of parents raised the funds for a replacement trip in just three weeks.
The trip itself was fantastic and went off without a hitch, said parent group co-chair Heather Kemp. “The kids just had so much fun.”
The group had about $26,000 left over after the trip and met Monday to decide what to do with it.
The group moved to give $4,000 back to the school board to cover the costs of substitute teachers hired for the trip, Kemp said. Experiential Education and Tours (the original organizer of this trip) issued similar refunds to the board during its previous trips.
That left the group with $21,892.19, or enough to send 13 kids to space camp.
“We wanted the money to help as many kids as possible for as long as possible,” Kemp said.
The group also wanted to give back to the community to thank them for their support.
The group decided to put the cash into a legacy fund managed by the St. Albert Community Foundation, Kemp said.
Once established, the fund will give cash to the St. Albert Food Bank, Stop Abuse in Families, the St. Albert Family Resource Centre, Kids Help Line, and local Breakfast for Learning schools on an annual basis.
These are well-established charities that always need help, Kemp said. “We wanted to keep the funds close to St. Albert.”
The foundation gives out about $22,000 a year to local charities, said executive director David Reidie – equivalent to about four per cent of what the foundation’s investments earn in interest a year.
While they’ve yet to work out the details of the fund, Reidie said creating it is a fantastic idea on the part of the parents.
“You’re giving back to the community that’s been good to you,” he said. “More people should take the opportunity to do that.”
Kemp thanked everyone for their support of the trip, and said the kids were amazed to see everyone rallying behind them. “I think it taught the kids a really good lesson.”
The next space camp trip, should the schools involved repeat it, is in 2016.