Dear Fellow SME62 Classmates,
I am delighted to bring to you the GLAD62 Legacy Challenge. We associate the 50th Anniversary of an occasion with Gold, thus the Golden Lancer Anniversary Donation Legacy Challenge. This is a way to give back to the SME -- the school that gave the class of '62 its start in life -- and also challenge future 50th Class Reunions to contribute to this legacy.
This idea is not mine alone. Giving back to Shawnee Mission East was an idea conceived over a lunch with Connie Bohannan-Roberts. Together we came up with the idea to give back to SME and then to challenge future 50th Reunions to also give back to SME.
I want to introduce you to The East Fund, which I believe is the perfect venue for our project. Shawnee Mission East Education Excellence Fund (The East Fund) was created in 2004 by a group of parents to enhance and create educational resources for SME students and staff. The East Fund is an affiliated fund of the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation (SMEF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to which contributions for The East Fund are tax deductible as allowed by law. After meeting with Beth Fowler (SME Archivist and Reunion Liaison) and Julie Foster (President of The East Fund) we have the groundwork in place. Steve Hann and Brad Stratton (President Elect of the East Fund) have finalized the GLAD62 Legacy Challenge. Each reunion class will designate how their GLAD gift will be used, or what project is funded with the approval of the East principal. Steve has been working with Barbara Hitchcock-Taylor of SME63 and her class is ready to carry the torch.
You are no doubt aware of budget constraints on school systems and Shawnee Mission East is no exception. The East Fund was created to support ideas that are not funded by the normal school budget.
The idea Connie and I proposed for this inaugural program was "Safety and Wellness". Today's school campus needs to be a "Safe Zone" for kids in order for them to have the optimum educational experience. No student can give full attention to his/her education if they are in fear, depressed or bullied. Our funds in the fields of "Safety and Wellness" offer teachers the chance to be creative and apply for grants that will help to fulfill some of the needs in the areas of "Safety and Wellness." Examples include:
All of the above are suggestions none of us would have ever felt necessary when we were in high school, yet today they are very relevant.
I'm asking each of you to join in a new tradition at SME. We are starting an idea that students will begin looking forward to the day they celebrate their 50th Reunion. It will be a time for them to give back to SME and help future students with their needs of the day.
Let's make this a momentus occasion. Let's help Shawnee Mission East be a "Safe Zone" for future SME students. Let's know in our hearts that we were able to give back to SME and that's something that we can always be proud to say: "We helped to start that tradition with our gifts!"
Whether you are attending the Reunion or not, we want to offer each of you the opportunity to be a part of this new tradition. Each of you will have to examine your own hearts and decide if you would like to give to this Fund.
Contributions are tax deductable. Donations of any amount will be accepted and welcomed. The East Fund will mail receipts for any gift $50.00 or more. As it's our 50th, all classmates giving at least $50.00 will receive a Golden Lancer Ornament with their receipt. Checks are to be written to SMEF-The East Fund with GLAD62 on the memo line. We have a special chest at the reunion where you may deposit your check at the reunion or you may mail your check to:
PO Box 13387
Overland Park, KS 66282
I'm deeply honored to present the GLAD62 Legacy Challenge to you and hope you will consider joining this tradition with a joyful heart, happy that you are alive and well and able to give back to SME.
Judy Reynolds Dutra
Any questions, please email me here or phone me at 1-239-560-9183.