Thirteen members of the Tuesday Study Club were present at the April 16, meeting at the home of Linda Beam.
Linda Beam’s short program was about the book. “Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?” written by Gail Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont. The book tells about many things, very popular in their day, but now almost extinct, such as encyclopedias, drive-in movies, Chrissy dolls, metal lunch boxes, pen pals, etc.
Leora Ask, Chairwoman of the District 840 Foundation, told about the activities and accomplishments of that group. The Foundation was started in 2001 by a group of interested parents. Its purpose is to enhance the education of St. James children by purchasing items that are not in the school district’s budget. The 13-18 members of the Foundation board meet every other third Tuesday. Two students are also included on the board.
A newsletter is sent out twice a year to tell the community about the Foundation’s efforts and successes. Teachers from all grade levels fill out grant requests, and the board decides which projects to fund.
More than $310,000 has been given to various projects over the years. Some of these projects are sewing machines, pianos and other musical instruments, Smart Boards, computers, and educational trips.
The funds are raised through the community golf tournament during Railroad Days and McTeacher Nights at McDonalds, when five teachers work at McDonalds for an evening. They earn 10 percent of the profits plus tips (The next one will be in September).
The Cash for Kids Auction was just held and collected $32,000, which is the largest amount raised in the eleven years the event has been held.
One of the items auctioned off was the naming rights to the high school gym, which brought in $4,400. Money is also received for cookbooks, school souvenirs, school pictures, and memorials. Leora mentioned that funds taken from an IRA or 401K plan can be gifted directly to the Foundation (or other charitable organizations) tax-free.
Leora distributed schedules of the events of Railroad Days and the All School Reunion which will take place June 18-23.
The next Tuesday Club meeting will be the May outing with the Citizenship Club to tour the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum in Owatonna on May 21. There are no summer meetings.