May 29, 2014 - Friends and Heroes make 5th Annual Ready for Life Breakfast a Success

Written by Andrea Aschenbrenner, MacEwan University Intern

Breakfast 2014 Photos 143

Great news for beansprouts! On May 29, we held our annual Ready for Life Breakfast fundraiser at M.E. LaZerte School. The gym was jam packed with over 350 of our friends who came in support of full-day Kindergarten programs. Due to the generous contributions made by individuals, organizations and funding agencies, we were able to raise an amazing $300,000 (and still counting).

All of the money raised will go back into funding full-day Kindergarten classrooms at Beacon Heights, Calder, Lauderdale, Mee-Yah-Noh, Princeton and Tipaskan schools.

M.E. LaZerte made the morning memorable for all! Guests showed up at the school and were immediately greeted in the rain by umbrella clad students. The school had their very own pianist welcoming guests into the foyer and a violinist who serenaded guests as they entered the gymnasium. The event was emceed by Grade 11 and 12 students and opened up with an amazing rendition of Etta James’ At Last by vocalist Sylvia Choi.

Next up, the chair of our Board of Governors Dr. Louise Hayes spoke about the importance of full-day Kindergarten programs and how it helps get children ready for learning. “When I look around the room, I see so many people engaged in public education and helping children succeed,” remarked Dr. Hayes.  “Your involvement is key to ensuring that these little Kindergarteners will one day be doctors, musicians, writers, lawyers, fashion designers, builders, and quite possibly our next generation of elected officials.”

Two graduates (Grades 2 and 3) from Tipaskan’s full-day Kindergarten program shared stories about how their schooling has helped them grow.  After their adorable speeches, Lauderdale Principal Dorothy Arts came to the stage with the six schools’ full-day Kindergarten teachers and principals to announce how much money was raised through their pay-it-forward campaigns.  Next, our Show and Tell video offered a visualization of what full-day Kindergarten means to students, teachers and the community.  The Lauderdale Oildrops then melted hearts with a Thank You song written by Princeton’s full-day Kindergarten teacher Pina Rygh. The morning ended with a BANG – a drum line performance and cultural parade organized by M.E. LaZerte. Fun was had by all!

It costs approximately $100,000 to subsidize the other half-day of Kindergarten. Some of the contributors who made early bird commitments included generous Edmontonians, the RBC Foundation (5th year contributor and our first corporate donor); Kingsway Mall (via annual activities such as the Ready to Shine student  fashion show, Christmas Wrap and Roll campaign and other events); EPCOR (4th donation in the past five years) and Ledcor (2nd year of a 5-year contribution). Shortly after the breakfast, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation announced something amazing! In addition to their continued commitment to Lauderdale School (4th year of a 5-year contribution), they will be providing additional funding for Princeton School during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years.

John Chwyl, Marketing Director of Kingsway Mall, also spoke at the breakfast event. “It has been an honor for me to be able to utilize the resources we have at Kingsway to create attention for the Foundation,” said John.  “We are thrilled and humbled to raise dollars to better the lives of children.”

Because of Edmonton’s heroes, we are able to create quality learning environments that nourish young minds and help get students ready for life!

View photos from the event

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