CHESHIRE -- Big goals sometimes require big money, and Adams-Cheshire Educational Partnership (ACE) announced that it has both during the group's 10th anniversary celebration at Hoosac Valley Middle & High School on Thursday night.
ACE, a financier of Adams-Cheshire Regional School District (ACRSD) programs, used Thursday's event to kickstart a new fundraising phase and introduced a new goal of boosting their $268,000 endowment with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) to $500,000 by late 2015.
Wind will be at their backs, as just before the event's close, ACE Chairman David Bissaillon and Maeve O'Dea, BTCF program director, said the foundation would contribute $50,000 toward that goal.
"It's a great launch to get us going on our drive and there's good work ahead of us," Bissaillon said.
Founded in 2001, ACE has supplied funds that have gone to support more than 80 programs, including field trips, school equipment, clubs, school newspapers, career training, tutoring and a week-long environmental education getaway for students at Nature's Classroom. ACE recently donated $18,000 to 11 different ACRSD programs.
More than 8,000 children have benefited from the partnership, Bissaillon said.
"We do some cool stuff for the kids that exposes them to things that just wouldn't be possible with a tight school budget," Bissaillon said after the meeting. "It's a worthy cause."
"It's wonderful watching them grow up right before your eyes," Parrott said. " ... You can see children who struggle in the classroom every day start to blossom. No student should miss that opportunity for financial reasons."
ACE's founding members were also among the audience of parents, local officials and ACRSD staff marking the anniversary. ACRSD Superintendent Alfred Skrocki, Bernie Pinsonnault and Howard Wineberg were among those who spoke.
"We'll all benefit from the investment in our kids' education, just as our parents benefited from their investment in ours," Wineberg said.
Skrocki said, "We're fortunate to live in two communities that meet these needs."
Kristen Gordon, who will replace Skrocki as district superintendent on Nov. 1, called the partnership's work "amazing."
"This is collaboration at its best," Gordon said.
Gordon also took the time to vow that despite reports of bad weather on the way, "we will have class on Nov. 1."
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