Panther Pride Foundation Aims To Increase Giving

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The Panther Pride Foundation is expanding and ready to support students of every age with almost any interest at Maumee City Schools.

The foundation was created to support academics, arts, athletics and other student experiences at the high school, but it has since expanded its bylaws to include the entire school district.

“We made that move to go districtwide. It doesn’t change a lot for us, but what it does, though, is it allows us to do more,” said director of development and alumni relations Erin Hyndman.

By going districtwide, Hyndman said the foundation can now ensure it helps all students at Maumee City Schools.

The help is necessary for the success of the schools because of gaps left by state and local funding.

While it costs thousands of dollars to provide a student in Ohio with an education, Maumee receives approximately half of the amount needed from the state. Much of the rest has to be covered by property taxes.

“Unfortunately, state funding does not fulfill all the things that we need and the things that we want to be able to make the schools successful, so the Panther Pride Foundation is critical to be able to fill that void,” said longtime board member Eddie Campos.

Donations to the foundation can assist in the completion of future projects for the schools. The foundation has already helped with Kazmaier Stadium and the STEM Center and is now raising funds for the Performing Arts Center.

Increasing day-to-day giving so that PPF can support other district projects is one of Hyndman’s main goals and she said the method to donate is very easy for residents.

“We’re set up so most people just have it automatically withdrawn out of their accounts,” Hyndman said. “But we can adjust the amount each month, too.”

Donations can be made online at maumee.k12.oh.us/pantherpridefoundation and can be adjusted to one-time, yearly, quarterly, monthly or weekly donations.

Increasing donations is also on the mind of new board member Mikayla Becker. As a 2014 Maumee High School graduate, Becker has been passionate about returning the favor to the district that helped her achieve her goals so far.

“Also part of the reason I was interested in the board is I am younger than a lot of the other members, so one of my biggest goals as a board member is to try and get more engagement from my generation,” Becker said. “I’d like to get more donations from the people in my graduating class or the years around my class.”

Donations, big and small, make a big difference in the education and experiences of the students, Campos said. Together, the donations add up and can result in the completion of a big project, like Kazmaier, or something small that allows the school to focus on other projects.

“The benefit of the foundation is that Maumee (City Schools) is able to complete projects quickly because their permanent improvement monies are used for one thing and we use our funds for other projects,” Hyndman said.

Allowing the district to complete projects lends to the success of the students, which in turn, benefits the community, Hyndman said. It’s part of the reason Matt Williams from the MHS Class of 2011 wanted to join the foundation – to give back to the school and community.

“Making the school district a better place makes the city a better place, and that’s what it ultimately boils down to,” Williams said.

To find out more information about the foundation or to donate, visit maumee.k12.oh.us/pantherpridefoundation. For more information on involvement, Hyndman is available at (419) 893-8778, ext. 20260 or ehyndman@maumeek12.org.

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