School Foundation banquet set for March 4

Bob Goodyear

Dan Goodyear

Mark Spensley
Goodyear/Spensley family to be honored
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello School District Foundation Dinner and Auction is fast approaching. The Foundation Board would like to have tickets sold by Wednesday, March 1.

     The dinner will be held on Saturday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. at the Monticello Berndes Center. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from any Foundation Board member, the District Office, or any school office.

     The Foundation assists in the fundraising efforts to support the Monticello Community School District with needs and services not covered by taxation.

     This year, the Foundation is honoring a local family and business that has held a legacy within the Foundation since its inception.

     The Goodyear/Spensley family, along with the Monticello Express has been a champion for the School Foundation, the school district in general through the years.

     Bob Goodyear, former owner of the Express, is one of the founding members of the Foundation when it started in March 1988.

     In an article that appeared in the Express on March 16, 1988: “The Monticello School District has joined a growing number of districts across the state that have established non-profit foundations as a means of attracting tax deductible gifts.

     “The purpose of the foundation is to attract private donations, which in other districts have included money and equipment from private individuals and corporations as well as estates.”

     Foundations like this were being formed throughout Iowa, according to the Express article, in response to the declining tax bases for Iowa schools, “which administrators say will make it increasingly difficult to maintain quality educational facilities and programs without additional funding.”

     Bob served on the Foundation Board for six years after helping to get it off the ground.

     He said at the time, the community found it hard to pass several bond issues to build a new high school. He said while he can’t answer for the rest of the founding members, he saw the Foundation as “a vehicle for anyone caring to donate to the school system with the hope we could amass enough money to possibly buy down a bond issue with the hope it would make it possible to get one passed.”

     Over time, Bob said, the Foundation morphed into what it is today, financially supporting the needs of the school district.

     Those listed as members of the first Foundation Board included: Annie Locher, Michael Bowman, Bob Goodyear, Susan Gilchrist, Superintendent David Lane, Louis Freese, Robert Good, Bert Ballou, Loren Dirks, Doug Schoon, Susan Babcock, Vernon (Pete) Steiner, and Sharon Hasler.

     Bob credits someone else with the idea to create a dinner and auction (annual banquet) to help raise money for his/her efforts. He said it is so well supported today because of its mission.

     “The things that it supports touch most everyone in the community in one way or another,” said Bob. “That makes it easy for people to donate to this good cause.”

     Bob and his family continue to support the Foundation due to the simple fact that it’s “such a worthwhile organization.”

     With the Foundation honoring his family, Bob said it brings him such pride. Bob said his son, Dan, and son-in-law, Mark, “have done a lot more to support the Foundation than I have.”

     Dan Goodyear, co-owner of the Express, started serving on the Foundation Board in 2009 and continues his service yet today.

     “It’s a great organization that purchases education items that the school district is unable to (purchase),” he explained. “There is nothing bad about helping children.”

     Dan can attest to the aggressiveness of the Foundation Board in its efforts to raise money every year.

     “There are some tremendous donors and volunteers on the board that make it an honor to put my own time in to help with the cause,” he said of the collective dedication.

     Over the years, the Foundation has given funds to help with technology upgrades for Carpenter School, purchase 30 iPads for the middle school, purchase white boards for the facilities, purchase new band uniforms, and purchase books for the school libraries. Dan said on these few projects alone, the Foundation spent over $70,000.

     With a small, close-knit town, Dan said everyone has either gone through or had family members who have attended or are attending school in Monticello.

     “They take pride in keeping our school district current with the latest technology, and keep us up-to-date in educational materials,” he said of the continued support of the banquet.

     As for the Express’ support, Dan said a strong educational system “is very important to having a successful community.”

     He said many people working at the Express, now and in the past, have played a role in the Foundation’s successes over the years.

     “We are dedicated to serving the school district,” he said.

     Mark Spensley, co-owner and publisher of the Express, served on the Foundation Board from 1999-2000.

     As with joining any organization, it’s who you know. Spensley credits Greg Kromminga with selling him on the idea to join the board.

     During his tenure with the Foundation, Spensley recalled bringing the Kiev Symphony to Monticello for the first time as a fundraiser for the Foundation. Money was also invested in the new all-weather track at that time as well.

     “Also seeing the work and effort put in by Roman Welter and his family was a neat experience,” praised Spensley of Welter’s unending gift to the school district.

     This community is not afraid to support a worthy cause, and Spensley said that includes the Foundation banquet.

     “An event like the Foundation dinner is always going to be a huge success,” he said, “especially in a community like Monticello.”

     Spensley said having been a part of the Foundation was important to him because of his family’s legacy of educators. He also acknowledged the support from the Express in general over the years.

     “The Express has been supportive of many causes in our community either by donating time, money or helping to promote these causes through the newspaper,” explained Spensley. “Again, it goes back to helping our school system any way we can.”

     Spensley said it wasn’t as though he or Dan decided to serve on the Foundation Board because of one another or Bob’s service. “It’s more about the opportunity to serve, and it’s a no-brainer that the Express is a great tool to help promote Monticello.”

     Since it started in 1988, almost 30 years ago, the Foundation has been instrumental because of its supporters and donors and volunteers.

     “A lot of people put in a lot of work to put on the fundraiser, but it wouldn’t be a success without the support of the community,” said Bob.


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