The winners at the “For the Love of Education” trivia night on February 1 were friends and family of long-time Partnership supporters, Ken and Judy Cordum. Cordum’s daughter, Susan Stromsland, her husband Pete; son Terry Cordum and wife Shelly headed the first-place team. They donated back their first-place prize of $150 in memory of their mother Judy, a long-time CUSD7 teacher and immediate past secretary of The Partnership, and their father Ken, a long-time grocer in Gillespie and major organizer of the Gillespie area food pantry as well as a generous supporter of The Partnership.
The second-place Cavoretto team also donated their winnings of $100 back to the education foundation. The third-place Drew team, perennial winners, and their avian Mascot Bufana the tern also donated their prize money back.
These three were among the 24 tables which packed the Gillespie Civic Center for The Partnership’s annual and only fundraiser.
All proceeds from the lively, jam-packed evening will be used in classroom mini-grants within Community Unit School District 7’s (CUSD7) pre-K through 12th-grade classrooms. Since 1992 The Partnership has given approximately $620,000 of donors’ funds to CUSD7 to supplement the curriculum.
Partnership president John Fassero, Jr., opened the evening by recognizing the many attendees who had received Partnership scholarships or classroom mini-grants in the past. Current school involvement was also evident in the five GHS student volunteers on hand.
The success of the fundraiser was also enhanced by local businesses and individuals who donated nearly $1,000 through the “Out to Recess” program. It allowed those who could not attend to donate toward the evening. “Out to Recess” donors include The Village of Mt. Clare; Matt Gazda of Gazda Insurance Agency; Maurice Sullivan of Sullivan Drugs; Roger and Brenda Heltsley of Star Auto Body; Mike Rossetto of DuroDyne; Deb Rossetto of Century 21 Real Estate; Fleming Tawfall & Company, PC; Don and Cookie Dobrino; Dr. Nicholas E. Kravanya DDS; and Neuhaus Heating and Air Conditioning.
The evening also kicked off The Partnership’s fifth annual Grand Raffle. Enthusiasm was high: more than 20 percent of the available 500 tickets were sold that night! Two early bird drawings awarded $100 each to Dennis Tallman and a participant who wants to remain anonymous; the latter donated the prize to The Partnership. Their names went back into the mix for the one-and-only grand prize of $5,000 cash to be awarded on Palm Sunday 5 April 2020 at Ben-Gil Elementary School’s spaghetti dinner.
Fewer than 400 Grand Raffle tickets remain and, as usual, they are expected to sell out early. Tickets at $20 are available at Hicks Maytag on Macoupin Street in downtown Gillespie. Or they can be purchased from a Partnership director: Rosie Emmenderfer, John Fassero, Jr., Nanci Grandone, Mary Griffel, Donna Prevedell, Katie Ronald, Ann-Marie Bauer Ross, Carole Scheller, Susan Stromsland, Ken Tebbe, Rose Marie Tebbe, Don Throne, or Julie Zirkelbach.
The Partnership is an IRS-chartered 501(c)3, all-volunteer, not-for-profit educational foundation which has also awarded more than a quarter-million dollars in academic tuition scholarships for post-secondary education to graduates of Gillespie High School.