Building a future

ATLANTIC MINE – The Adams Township School District Foundation has helped students take classes, attend national competitions and go to college.

Saturday night, the foundation held its first fundraising dinner to enable even more projects to come to fruition.

Over the past two years, the foundation has raised $118,000 for student and teacher programs, said foundation president Frank Rugani. That number had climbed to $125,000 even before Saturday night’s auction had begun.

After the district outlines its goals and wishes, the foundation steps up to help provide more money to make it happen.

Some of its actions include funding art and music programs, as well as trips for students, such as to the Health Occupations Students of America national finals in Florida.

Next, the foundation is working on a trades program at Jeffers High School, involving carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry and welding.

Superintendent Tim Keteri said the district has raised about $70,000 of the $290,000 it would need for the trade program. Students would construct a 40- by 60-foot multipurpose building for projects and storage.

“Without the foundation, we couldn’t even explore the possibility of offering more programming for our students at Jeffers,” he said. “I know the group of people we have in place, I think the trades will happen sooner than later.”

The foundation also funds scholarships. This year, it will give out $94,000 to graduating seniors.

“There’s not a student that graduates from Jeffers High School that requests a scholarship that doesn’t get something, so we’re very, very proud of that,” Rugani said.

This was the foundation’s third fundraiser of the year, and potentially a risky one.

When the idea was proposed, Rugani said, he was told they’d be lucky to draw 80 people.

“We had to cut the reservations off because the place only holds 130,” he said.

Guests ate a dinner prepared by Mark Pittilo, who will also be preparing one locally sourced meal a week with the help of students. The foundation will supply students with tools needed for the class.

Mark Roth, who works at Chassell Township Schools, came with his wife Ann.

“We’re both graduates of Adams, and it’s for a good cause too,” Mark said.

“It was fun,” Ann said. “Good food. We got a see a lot of people that we haven’t seen for many years.”