Aurora -- Tom Carr, the new president of the Aurora Schools Foundation, wants the group to focus more on fundraising opportunities as it seeks to provide more student scholarships and faculty grants.
"One of the things I learned was, we did an excellent job of supporting the sports, band, choir and orchestra boosters," he said. "We will continue to support the booster organizations. But from a foundation standpoint, there are greater opportunities to reach out more broadly into the community."
Carr also wants to grow the foundation's endowment fund, "which would give us more money to support scholarships," he said. "Last year, we awarded four $1,000 scholarships. That's an area where we'd like to improve. We're looking at ways to build the endowment."
In addition, grants will be made available to the school faculty, he said. They will focus on eight areas including fine arts, communication, diversity, math/science/technology, global perspective, leadership, wellness, and civic responsibility.
"I'm pleased with the progress we've made and with the outpouring of support from the schools," he said. "Our desire is to talk to [other] organizations and let them know what we're doing."
Carr believes school foundations are advantageous to a school system and its community.
"Aurora has a top-ranked school system and a great faculty," he said. "Part of our goal is to enhance the experience for students and faculty. We're looking to enhance an excellent school system, and we feel we're in a great place to do that."
Carr joined retired in 2012 after a 35-year career with Johnson & Johnson.
"One of the areas I had an interest in was helping the schools," he said. "I was approached by a member of the foundation who asked if I had interest in joining. I thought, 'This is perfect. It fits one of my objectives for retirement.' I thought there were significant opportunities to help the foundation."
CARR BECAME president of the schools foundation in August of 2012, succeeding Gary Brookhart, who remains on the board of trustees along with P. Flip Eavenson, Jim Lawyer, Mary MacDonald, Sheila Best, Kim Boswell, Barb Brookhart, Peggy Carr, Dewey DeWitt, Teresa Flynn, B.K. Hall, Andye Hayes, Linda Kovach, Gene Molnar, Kathleen Novak, Corrine Rosengarten and John Sloe.
People can serve on the foundation's committees, including events, marketing and communications, development and fundraising, finance, grants, scholarships, affiliates [band, orchestra, choir, sports] and alumni.
"We would love to have individuals in the community reach out to us," he said. "We've got a lot of activities going on."
For more information about the schools foundation, go to the website at auroraschoolsfoundation.org, email Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-998-2185.
The Aurora Schools Foundation is a non-profit, charitable, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the educational programs of the Aurora schools, according to its website. It was founded in 1994. Goals include:
To annually provide additional financial support and resources to the students and educational programs of the Aurora Schools through scholarships and grants.
To build a long-term invested endowment fund whose earnings will benefit future generations of Aurora students and educators with the financial resources to support scholarships, as well as new, innovative and enhanced educational opportunities in perpetuity.
To serve as an "umbrella" organization for the coordination and consolidation of the fundraising efforts by all the Aurora City School booster and support groups.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187