The ABCs of PEF
by Dan Mullins
The Pearson Educational Foundation’s Mission Statement declares that “the Foundation believes in enhancing the opportunity for all students to become life-long learners, self assured, respectful and responsible to their community.”
PEF provides winter gear to kids in need, offers a graduation award to schools and provides grants to fund special classroom or school-wide projects. All of this is made possible through fundraising efforts.
The Rona Cupak Fund
Rona Cupak was an LBPSB commissioner who passed away tragically in a car accident in 2006. She was a mother of four boys and before becoming a commissioner, was an activist who lobbied successfully to have Hudson and St.-Lazare included in the territory of the LBPSB instead of the New Frontiers School Board. The fund was started in her honour. A significant amount of money was raised and the family and Directors of PEF decided to start a winter wear program for students with the funds. Later, the Directors of PEF took on the task of fundraising.
PEF runs the Rona Cupak fund, which provides snowsuits, boots, gloves and hats to children in need. The number of students receiving winter wear grows every year. This year, foundation President Donnalynn Rainey estimates that the program will distribute between 100 and 150 sets of cold-weather gear to children that attend LBPSB schools, or about ten thousand dollars worth of clothing. “Every year, requests start slowly. Then the snow hits, and they go crazy,” she says. Only winter wear is distributed.
The Margaret Manson Award
Margaret Manson was a teacher, a principal, a consultant, and a commissioner with a particular interest in students with special needs and life-long learning.
The Margaret Manson Award is an annual award presented to elementary and high school graduating students, as nominated by the school. There is one recipient per graduating class per school annually. Winners of the high school award receive a framed certificate, a cheque, a letter of congratulations, and a framed certificate. Elementary school winners receive a framed certificate and a letter as well, along with a book chosen individually for each student.
The Foundation also distributes annual grants. The amount that they disburse annually varies based on the results of fundraising efforts and the requests they receive. They do their best to fulfill all the requests that come across their desks.
Funds are raised by the PEF in a variety of ways. In the past, there was often a single large gala or golf tournament which provided the majority of their funding for the year. In recent years, they have moved to a series of comedy nights known as the “Comedy Crawl.” This year there are 5 shows, with another five planned for the new year. Stay tuned for more info regarding the return of the Crawl, and how you can purchase your ticket!
The PEF also receives a small amount from each reduced-price ticket sold during fundraising promotions such as the Montreal Canadiens, CF Montreal and Montreal Alouettes ticket sales. Tickets to see the Canadiens play the Ducks on January 27th are on sale now – get yours here!
The Annual Family Fun Run is another event that benefits the Foundation. Started in 2014, last year the event became the Bubble Run as a result of the pandemic. Whether it is in person or a virtual event, it’s a great way to bring the community together for a great cause.
Finally, the PEF funds some of its initiatives through the donations of LBPSB employees, as a recurring payroll deduction. Register to contribute here!
President Donnalynn Rainey
After moving to Canada from the the U.K., Rainey began working with the Special Needs Advisory Committee, specifically to help her son – but soon realized that there were many children with different needs. After working with the Parents’ Committee for four years, she was a Parent Representative between 2014 and 2017, and was acclaimed President of PEF in 2018.
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