DEPUE — After much talk about forming an alumni foundation, community members of DePue have come together and formed the first official DePue Alumni Foundation.
The new group is here to help promote, influence and support the educational, cultural and social life in DePue.
DePue Schools' Community Coordinator Anna McKee explained the foundation is independent of the school. While she has coordinated the efforts of several alumni to get the group started, she will eventually phase out of the operation and it will solely be run by elected alumni officials.
DePue High School science teacher Keith Garcia has volunteered to be president of the foundation and is seeking out other volunteers to fill other seats.
When talking about the importance of a foundation, McKee pointed to communication and relationships.
"Maintaining a positive relationship with your alumni means the messages they share about your institution will also be positive. If the relationship between your alumni and your institution closes when they leave campus, so does their knowledge of activities and events," she explained. "Maintaining the communication channels with alumni means we can keep them informed of the schools achievements and make them a part of the schools future, not just its past."
McKee said DePue counts on this sort of participation with a community its size.
"People from DePue are loyal. Many had an amazing educational experience here and appreciate being involved and being able to give back to the community," she said.
In the foundation's first year, they have worked to gain exposure, build the structure of the organization, held fundraisers to assist their efforts and awarded two scholarships to two graduating seniors.
In the next year, the foundation will continue to strengthen the organization and host a class contest at the school to see who can raise the most funds for the foundation. The winning class will receive a plaque, bragging rights and peace of mind that their donations went to a great cause.
The foundation's intention is to award at least one annual scholarship to a graduating senior who has proved to be proactive, a positive contributor to the district's academic progress, was extensively involved in extra curricular activities and designed a plan for college.
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