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Lake Oswego Schools Foundation luncheon raises thousands

Lake Oswego Schools Foundation’s campaign is in full swing with its biggest event of the year Tuesday drawing hundreds of local luminaries and raising thousands of dollars.by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - New Seasons Markets Chief Administrative Officer Michelle Lantow was among the speakers at the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation luncheon Tuesday.

The 19th annual luncheon and silent auction at the Oswego Lake Country Club attracted 240 people and collected $31,000. New Seasons Markets Chief Administrative Officer Michelle Lantow, local students and other speakers addressed the crowd to discuss academics and share why supporting the nonprofit is a boon to local schools. About 95 percent of donations go to teachers, supporting 20 jobs last year: 13 percent of the district’s full-time teachers.

“Each year, our community comes together to celebrate the efforts of the foundation and to kick off the campaign,” said Sara Patinkin, foundation executive director. “Seeing 240 supporters of the foundation in one place at one time reminds me about the opportunity we have right now to invest in our children, teachers and schools.”

The foundation could bring on more teachers this year with Patinkin setting the campaign goal at $2 million, about $300,000 more than was raised last year. As of Wednesday, the campaign had collected $577,372, and the campaign will come to a close with the ending of the fiscal year, June 30.

“Year after year our families and community step up to support the foundation because they know just how lucky we are to have foundation like we do supporting additional teachers at all our schools,” Patinkin said.

Luncheon attendees included the entire school board, the school district superintendent, the mayor and several city council members.

Mayor Kent Studebaker said the school system is one major factor contributing to the city’s success.

“People are very happy with the school system,” Studebaker said. “It contributes to their sense of well being and community, and that’s important.”

More than 2,800 families gave in 2012-13 — 240 of whom joined the foundation’s Starkweather Society, a group for those who give $1,250 or more apiece. The participation goal this year is about 80 percent of the 4,700 local families — or 3,700 families, Patinkin said. So far, 20 percent of families have stepped up.

Campaign volunteers will be calling more local families to spur support with the phonathon going on until March 20.

School board member Bob Barman said his family has seen the difference the foundation makes first hand. When his twin sons, now college students and Lakeridge High graduates, were in a fifth-sixth grade classroom at Palisades Elementary School, the foundation made hiring a fifth teacher possible, reducing class sizes from about 32 students to 23 students.

Barman said it makes Lake Oswego stand out and other school supporters are establishing foundations to help their school districts because: “There’s not the proper amount of funding for education around the country.”

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.




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