The Foundation for Pottstown Education held its 5th Annual Special Event on Saturday May 1, 2021 in conjunction with the Pottstown High School Musical, Godspell. Seventy-five guests of the Foundation joined us in celebrating the success of the past year and enjoyed the talents of our high school students.
The event started with a program showcasing the impact that the Foundation has had on the students, alumni, district and community. Special guest speakers shared their thoughts how the Foundation has made an impact in leveling the educational playing field for the Pottstown School District.
Sue Yocom, Special Events Chair for the Foundation welcomed everyone for attending. Recognizing what the past year had seen, she thanked the guests for attending the event even through masks and social distancing we were able to host this fund raiser. Other committee members include, Kenil Patel, Lori Pence, Elizabeth Peters and Alison Scott.
Mr. Robert Decker, PHS Mathematics Teacher and PHS Musical Producer and Stage Manager introduced the cast of Godspell. He shared that the Foundation has been a sponsor of the musicals for five years and this year helped to make the live streaming of the event possible.
Pottstown High School Alumni and Class of 2017 members, Nyles Rome and Kenil Patel relayed their experience in the Early College Program, a program which pays tuition, up to 30 credits at Montgomery County Community College, for PHS students during their junior and senior years. Both thanked the Foundation and its donors to enabling the students to earn college credit and get a head start on their college degree.
Mrs. Amy Francis, President of the Pottstown School District Board of Education shared that the Foundation was instrumental in the Chromebook distribution to the students this past year during the school closure for the pandemic. Amy indicated that in the 2019/2020 academic year the Foundation and its donors contributed more than $411,000 to support programs, equipment and scholarships for the District and its students.
MR. David Kraybill, President of the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation not only congratulated the Foundation and District for stepping up to provide Chromebooks for the students but also the donors of the Foundation for helping to bridge that gap. He also stated that the work is not done and will not be done until there is equitable distribution in the funding of our schools
Mrs. Andrea Roberts, Librarian of Pottstown Middle School and two of her students discussed the impact that the Foundation makes on students. Andrea shared that the Foundation provided funding to the Library to purchase podcast equipment. This equipment will teach the students how to communicate in a thoughtful way and to a broader audience. Two of her students shared one of their podcasts on diversity of our students.
Foundation Executive Director Joe Rusiewicz closed the program by sharing the impact that the donors have made on the district and students. Since 2015 donors have provided funding to make $1,110,000 in programs, services, equipment and scholarships available to the 3,200 students in the Pottstown School District.
Our guests were then treated to the talents of our student actors, band and stage crew of Godspell. The production was under the direction of Mr. Christopher Sperat. The talent of our students was truly showcased in this performance as all of the actors were on stage the entire performance. This year’s cast included:
Naomi Parson Tyler Broughton Devon Smith
Josephine Bechtel Peyton Benfield Kristen DiPietro
Makenna Franey Robert Raegler Jonathon Moser
Mackenzie Moser Christian Toland Sophia Russo
Dasia Thornton – Bey
The event wrapped up with a takeout dinner catered by the Pottstown Culinary Arts students and Chef Steven Irick. A soul food meal was provided and consisted of shrimp, salad, fried catfish, bar-b-que chicken, rice and red beans, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, rolls and a cheesecake finished off the feast.
A great time was had by all and thanks to our donors, more than $11,000 was raised to help continue our mission. Special thank you to our event donors
Exelon Generation and Tompkins VIST Bank, our lead Producer Sponsors
Our Stage Manager Sponsors: Fox Rothschild, Glocker and Company Real Estate and Insurance, O’Donnell Weiss and Mattei PC, Styer Real Estate, Tri County Area Federal Credit Union, Victory Bank and Wolf Baldwin and Associates