Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund hosting fundraiser at Richland Barn - PineCreek Journal

Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund hosting fundraiser at Richland Barn

Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 12:01 AM

The Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund awards district students with scholarships and teachers with grants to fund innovative classroom projects, and community members will have a chance to help contribute to their mission at the annual fundraiser.

This year’s event is called Sip and Savor, and it will be held at the Richland Township Community Barn on Sunday, Oct. 13.

“It’s not so much a donation to charity as an investment into the education of your own kids,” said PROF president Deb Lund.

The past two years the organization has held the fundraiser at the Chatham University Eden Hall campus, but decided to switch it up a bit this year, Lund said. Using the Taste of Pine fundraiser as inspiration, they created the event with the thought of having different food and beverage purveyors providing small bites and beverages while people mingle, take a chance at winning raffle baskets, enjoy the close-up magic of Dan Kuniak and play “life-sized” games of cornhole, Connect Four and Left Center Right. Food and beverage providers include Market District, Bak’n, Soergel Orchards, Treesdale Country Club, Sweet b Sweet Shop and Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, makers of Boyd & Blair potato vodka.

“We wanted this to be a fun evening and a way for people to just relax and enjoy being together,” she said. “We’re hoping that this kind of casual event will create a lot of good conversations about what we’re doing and what we’re up to and give people a nice evening out at the same time.”

PROF was founded in 1994. In addition to awarding 20 scholarships worth $46,500 to high school seniors in 2019, the organization awarded $48,855 in staff and teacher grants in 2018 to fund makerspace projects at Wexford and Richland Elementary Schools, the science and technology program at Eden Hall, the Mind Body Balance club, and the video production studio at Pine-Richland High School. They’ve also recently helped provide funding for the outdoor learning space at Wexford Elementary and Google Expedition virtual reality goggles for Jeff Paul’s seventh-grade social studies classes.

“When you provide funding to one school it tends to spark an interest for other teachers in other schools to apply for like grants,” Lund said. “That helps the district also because there’s a lot of opportunity for pilot programming and seed programming to happen with PROF. It allows the district to see specifically how the program or initiative might work in a small setting then evaluate it for adoption into the curriculum or strategic planning for the district as a whole.”