FLINT TWP. — When Peggy Anderson joined the Carman-Ainsworth School Board in 1993, few of the district’s more than 5,000 students qualified for free or reduced lunch prices, said Superintendent Steve Tunnicliff. during remarks at a special event last week. Now, 77 percent of C-As 4,400 students qualify, he said.
That difference underscores the need for the Carman-Ainsworth Education Foundation (CAEF) whose mission is to support unmet needs of C-A students and enhance learning opportunities.
To that end, last Friday the CAEF sponsored its first annual Community Auction for Kids fundraiser at Ruggero’s restaurant on Corunna Road. Enough tickets were sold at $25 to pack the room to overflowing. Everyone had a chance to place silent bids on a vast array of goods, services and gift cards donated by businesses and supporters of C-A.
Peggy (Skaff) Anderson was the guest of honor, in recognition of her 21 Years of service to the C-A Board of Education. She retired in December 2014.
Tunnicliff said she insisted that any tribute to her also benefit C-A students. During her board tenure, working with changing board members and five superintendents, Anderson “remained, first and foremost, a staunch advocate for ALL students,” Tunnicliff said.
“Peggy is supportive of our schools, but is relentless in pushing C-A to improve. She is reflective and comprehensive in her thoughtful planning… she is willing to ask questions and to challenge the status quo.”
“Peggy has taught all of us how to govern with compassion, and to serve with dignity and grace.”
Tunnicliff also recognized Sue Allen, board and administration secretary, for her “countless volunteer hours over the last four years” helping the CAEF get off the ground.
“Much work has been behind the scenes but make no mistake, if not for Mrs. Allen’s volunteer efforts over these years, and the tremendous effort dedicated to this particular event, we would not be here today, coming together to celebrate and support Carman- Ainsworth, “ Tunnicliff said.
He also acknowledged other C-A employees for their work organizing the event including Kristy Keeling for stuffing baskets and programs (after hours), Tom Klee for lending his energy and voice; and Faith Yassick, C-A choir teacher and her husband Gregory for providing musical entertainment at the event; Jeff Bennet for designing the event program and several others.
Organizers said a final tally on how much money was raised is not yet available.
Tunnicliff gave two examples of how the CAEF has helped students. Most recently, it made a “substantial donation” to the Randels Elementary Odyssey of the Mind Team to help cover expenses for their upcoming trip to compete in the World Finals.
Last year, the CAEF also granted scholarships to help offset the cost of attending unique summer college programs for C-A high school students, he said.
The organization continuously accepts donations online at www.carman.k12.mi.us/Page/6279