TURBOTVILLE — The Warrior Run Education Foundation is pumping up the volume and raising the bar with a fundraiser coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the opening of what was once the Warrior Run High School building.
As part of Friday’s homecoming festivities, the foundation announced the launch of “60 for 60,” a campaign corresponding with the 60th anniversary and designed to raise $60,000. The slogan for the campaign is “Pump up the Volume/Raise the Bar.”
Jean Hormell, foundation chairperson, said $30,000 will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art sound system for the middle school auditorium. The other $30,000 will go toward the purchase of new equipment for the middle school/high school fitness center.
Superintendent Dr. Alan Hack said the groundwork for the Warrior Run School District was laid in 1955. A new high school — which is now the middle school building — opened at the start of the 1958-1959 school year.
Based on discussions by the foundation board on how to best celebrate the 60th anniversary of the opening of the current middle school building, Hormell said the idea for the fundraiser was born.
Sarah Kowalski, the foundation’s vice chair, said when the school building first opened 60 years ago, the auditorium did not have a sound system.
“If there were performances, (singers) had to try to project their voices really loud,” she said.
Over the years, she said the sound systems installed in the auditorium have not kept pace with current technology. Often, she said it would be difficult to hear some parts of school musicals, performances and assemblies.
“We felt that (auditorium) was an area the whole community uses,” Kowalski said.
“The auditorium is a community center,” Hormell added.
Hormell said the foundation has already received some funds which are committed to be used for the purchase of the sound system.
She said the fitness center currently utilizes a collection of equipment that has been acquired by the school over the years. Students in grades seven through 12 use the center, including athletic teams and physical education classes.
“They have equipment that’s not functioning now,” Hormell said.
Equipment targeted to be purchased for the area includes treadmills, weights and lifting equipment.
The foundation’s goal is to have the $60,000 raised by the end of January.
Both Kowalski and Hormell expressed thanks for everyone who’s been supporting the foundation since it was reorganized several years ago.
“We’re thankful for the support we’ve had,” Hormell said. “These are some needs that have been identified and we felt it was time to take action on it.”
She noted that the district’s professional staff have been particularly supportive of the foundation, with 25 percent contributing through payroll deductions and individual contributions.
In addition to scholarships which the foundation awards annually, during the last school year Hormell said $10,000 was awarded in teacher grants and to support the district’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program.
Based on its continued success, Hormell said the foundation has entered into a new phase of existence with the launch of the “60 for 60” campaign.
“(The foundation board) has talked about this,” Kowalski said. “Everyone was very enthusiastic that this is a goal we can obtain.”
Hack praised the work of the foundation, particularly the decision to launch the new campaign.
“The partnership that we’ve had with the foundation is tremendous,” he said.
Hack said the district had been looking for some time at replacing the sound system and fitness equipment.
“We now have a conduit to make this happen,” he said.
Hormell and Kowalski were both members of the Warrior Run Class of 1964.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the class raised $50,000 which was presented to the foundation as an endowment, the Alumni Legacy Fund.
Hormell worked as a music educator for 35 years, including two years in the Warrior Run district.
“I raised my children in this district, now I have grandchildren in this district,” Hormell said. “It’s important to help the small districts that have challenge... I have the capacity to do that and I am stepping up to do that.”
Kowalski is also a retired educator, having worked in the Warrior Run district for approximately 20 years.
“This school district has been my life,” Kowalski said. “It educated me, it educated my family.
“It’s very difficult in today’s age for school districts like ours to provide the kind of opportunities bigger schools can provide,” she continued. “We have to do what we can to help our students compete in today’s world.”
Donations to support the “60 for 60” campaign can be mailed to the Warrior Run Education Foundation, c/o the Warrior Run School District, 4800 Susquehanna Trail, Turbotville, PA 17772.
Donations can also be made online through the foundation’s link on the district’s website, wrsd.org.
For more information on the foundation or its efforts, contact Hormell at 570-538-9085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email email@example.com.