Letter: Schools foundation thanks voters, works to increase endowment

Thanks to all of you who were able to make it to our CEF event the other night at Cetrella. Thank you for your donations and pledges to our 2010 endowment fund campaign. It was a big success.

For those who could not make it, I’ll provide a brief summary. If you did not receive the initial evite invitation to the event, please reply so we can make sure your email gets in our database if you want to be kept up to date about CEF events and updates about our local public education improvement.

Over 70 people packed into the back room at Cetrella and toasted the passing of Measure E with excellent complimentary wine donated by Liquid Sky Vineyards and Barterra Winery. Please thank them by buying from these two great wineries whenever you can and dining at Cetrella more often. Cetrella owner, Dave Labuda, also added $10,000 to the endowment challenge grant which helped enable donations made during the event to be tripled. Please thank them for their CEF support when you dine there!

Rob Gaskill talked about how there will be far fewer cuts needed now, thanks to all the great work and leadership across the community to pass measure E. The structural deficit of $2.5M is now only $1M thanks to an overwhelming mandate of 70.7% yes votes on E. A well deserved special recognition was given to Chris Dobbrow, Nadia Bledsoe, and Jayne Battey along with all the many volunteers across the coast.

There was an upbeat and celebratory mood about the increasing momentum within our schools. I heard of one conversation where a family will be reducing a large bill to a private school over the hill by enrolling here in our continuously improving CUSD schools on the coast.

I spoke briefly about how despite the economic downturn, despite the failed state education policies, and despite the failed budget management in Sacramento, there are communities which are thriving with highly funded, continuously improving, and fantastic public schools. These communities typically have four things:

1) Actively engaged parents,
2) Excellent teachers/principals/administration,
3) Passed parcel tax, and
4) A large community endowment coordinated by a local education foundation.

Here on the coast, we are very, very fortunate to have the first of these two. There is no doubt about these. As of this recent election, the community now has the third element, a parcel tax. The key now is the fourth ingredient, a large endowment fund. The purpose of measure E was to minimize loss of what we already have (great teachers, programs, etc). Very different from this “gap” funding, the purpose of the endowment is to have an additional sustaining source of funds to take our schools to the next level for even more effective education. We are well on our way to having this but we all need to work together.

We officially launched our 2010 challenge grant campaign for the endowment. Please donate to the CEF endowment now and have your donation matched by a group of community members who have pooled together challenge grant dollars. Any donation you make now will be doubled. Let’s not leave any money on the table from these challenge grants.

Your tax-deductible donation will help both in the short term and will endure as a legacy on the coast for generations. The interest from this endowment will provide a sustaining funding source for continuous improvements to our local education. To me, this is the most important cause I can think of for the future of our community and our society. You can see the CEF annual report, or the CEF website, or contact me or others on the CEF board if you have any questions about the endowment fund.

Please make your tax-deductible donation via PayPal on our website at www.CEFfund.org or write a check to CEF Endowment Fund and send to:

P.O. Box 354
Half Moon Bay, CA

Please pass this on to others. Clearly it took more than just voting “YES” to get measure E to pass. It required many of you to talk about it, advocate for it, volunteer, and remind friends and neighbors. This is the same for this endowment goal. There are still many people on the coast who do not know about this. In addition to making this your primary charity for annual tax deductible donations, we need your help in spreading the word about this community-wide goal. Help us all reach our short term goal of $2M from the $1.4M level it is at now.

Please pass this on and read about the Cabrillo Education Foundation at www.CEFfund.org

Best Regards,

John Ediger
CEF VP, Endowment

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