MBCSF raises record amount

  • The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring prevented the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation from closing its fiscal year with a strong fundraising push. In fact, one of its marquee fundraisers — the Mountain Brook Elementary Track Meet — was canceled.

    But the wobbly finish to fiscal 2020, which concluded April 30, didn’t erase a year of great gains for the foundation. Thanks to the leadership of first-year Executive Director Rachel Weingartner and exceptional community generosity, it raised more annual funds than ever before at $508, 534.

    That money is now part of the foundation’s permanent endowment through which it supports professional development, technology, and library enhancements within Mountain Brook Schools. 

    “We are really proud of the fundraising efforts last year, particularly because several of our campaigns were in their second and third years,” Weingartner said, “and I think we could attribute a lot of our success last year to the growth of those campaigns.”

    The foundation’s signature campaigns include Give 180, which encourages families to give $1 for each day their student receives instruction from MBS, and the Grandparents Club. Funds generated from these campaigns allow the foundation to fulfill its mission of mobilizing community support and resources for the academic improvement of the school system. 

    MBS experienced the foundation’s profound impact when it shifted to e-Learning in April. Past grants had enabled the school system to strengthen technology infrastructure, invest in the Seesaw student engagement platform, and supply students and teachers with Chromebooks critical to remote instruction. 

    “Without the foundation’s support, our school system’s transition to e-Learning would have been much more challenging,” MBS Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow said. “We are forever indebted to the foundation and are so thankful for all of its contributions. I know our appreciation will continue to grow during the 2020-2021 academic year as we utilize the tools it has provided to facilitate learning throughout our school community."

    The foundation was formed in 1992 to raise supplementary funds for MBS and has awarded more than $7.1 million since its inception. Even amid the unusual circumstances presented by COVID-19, Weingartner said her organization stands ready to meet the school system’s needs as it navigates a new year. 

    “This year it’s more important than ever that our families and our donors participate in our campaigns, especially with the uncertainty of what this year looks like,” she said. “If there has ever been a time to work together for the good of our schools and students, it is now.”

    Click here to watch a video about the foundation featuring Barlow, principals, and other MBS administrators.