Story by Noriah Williams
Mason Times staff writer
MASON – Mothers and fathers of Mason could feel good ordering a pizza Wednesday, April 4, knowing a dollar of their purchase went to the Mason Public School Foundation.
Founded in 1984 by a group of community volunteers and business leaders, the non-profit foundation is separate from the district, and provides funds for the school system.
Beth Gorishek, president of the Mason Public School Foundation, understands the value in tending to the needs of the youth. The organization’s main goal is to enhance educational opportunities for young students in Mason.
“People understand that without extra help, public education can’t be top of the line,” said Gorishek.
Mason Pizza Wednesday, is set up with Little Caesars, Courthouse Pub, Pizano’s, City Limits, Darb Tavern, and Westside Deli. Mason Pizza Day raises a couple hundred dollars a year, numbers that add up to many positive changes for students.
“Sales do go up a little on Wednesdays, but it’s hard to tell because so many businesses around do it as well,” said Kurt Lawrence, manager of the Westside Deli.
Courthouse Pub, the only establishment advertise the fundraiser on a banner close to the bar, welcomes the event despite an amusing clash of interests.
“We don’t see increased sales on Wednesdays. Wednesday is trivia night, so burgers and beers are our big seller,” said bartender and waitress Kris Heckmen.
Pizza isn’t the only way the foundation brings in funds. Their biggest fundraiser, the silent and live auction, was held March 24, and raised $10,000. More than 115 items were auctioned, including vacation packages, golf packages, an iPad 3, art, haircuts and other pamper items. Many teachers lent a hand.
“We’ve found that in this economic situation, education will suffer without extra help from people. Local people who couldn’t donate on a larger scale could help and feel they were contributing in some way. That was a big bonus,” Gorishek said.
Without the volunteers, Gorishek said, the foundation would not exist. The foundation is critical to the school system as it supplements funds that the state does not provide. Wherever there is a deficit, the district reaches out to the foundation.
One of the foundation’s biggest ventures is the MTIP, Mason Technology Inclusion Project.
The program is set to be a 5-year project, raising $30,000 every year. These funds will solely go for technology equipment like smart boards, digital cameras, digital data cameras, Kindles, iPads and iPods.
This venture gives children a leg up for their future, allowing them access to technology that may not have access to any other way.
“I am very passionate about being a member of the board. I have four children in the district. I’m involved in my children’s education in a way that is bigger than this moment in time. What the foundation does will carry with them from elementary, to middle, high school and even higher education,” Gorishek said.