Lodi Unified School District received a large boost to its technology department on Monday afternoon when the Twin Arbors Athletic Club presented administrators and foundation members with a giant donation.
The business raised some $15,395 between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31 with the help of Giving Opportunities To Kids, the school district’s community foundation. The money raised is earmarked for new computers in the classroom at various schools.
Twin Arbors and GOT Kids held Lodi Fun Fest on Oct. 19 at all three club locations as a final push to raise both awareness and funds for Lodi schools.
The event included animal exhibits from Micke Grove Zoo, water polo and racquetball demonstrations, water safety awareness training and a skydiving demonstration.
Art Hand, president of GOT Kids, said that while the district and foundation have partnered with Twin Arbors for several years on a variety of events, Lodi Fun Fest was the best yet.
“Twin Arbors was just awesome,” he said. “It certainly was great to have that much money generated out of a fundraiser. They did a great job.”
Gavin Russo, a spokesman for Twin Arbors, said past collaborations with the district have included events such as campus carnivals. He added those events were typically run by volunteers from the district, or even parents. Lodi Fun Fest was the first event run almost entirely by Twin Arbors representatives.
In addition to Lodi Fun Fest, the club donated the first month’s dues of each new membership sold between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, as well as the first month’s dues of each annual renewal between those dates, to the fundraising campaign.
Russo said first month’s dues ranged anywhere between $24 and $150.
“We’re very appreciative of the partnership we have with Twin Arbors,” Lodi Unified Superintendent Dr. Cathy Nichols-Washer said. “The work they’ve done and the relationship we’ve built with them is just amazing. This will put new computers in our kids’ hands. (Twin Arbors) just did a fantastic job.”
Nichols-Washer said that the district is at a point where current computers are not meeting the students’ needs when it comes to required work, including taking state and federal tests such as the California Achievement Tests.
Many schools within the district don’t have the ability to raise their own funds, Nichols-Washer said, and the funds raised by Twin Arbors and GOT Kids will help in that regard.
In addition, the funds raised can be used for non-Title I schools within the district. A Title I school is one which has identified 35 percent of its students as being disadvantaged or at risk. Schools that are not considered disadvantaged or at risk generally do not receive a large amount of money collected through fundraisers or donations, according to GOT Kids Vice President Chris Olson.
Hand said GOT Kids and Twin Arbors will soon begin planning a second Fun Fest for next year.
“GOT Kids is also working with the district’s technology department on a plan to maximize these funds and get matching grants from outside sources to provide more opportunities for students throughout the district,” he said.