You have to have a good sales pitch to raise millions of dollars and the ability to take that pitch to the right audience. Central just got a big hand in its effort to do that from its 228th graduated class.
Central’s alumni association, administrators and its new director of development, Lynn Norton Robins, are several months into a campaign to raise funds for the school to build a performing arts center annex. Organizers want to use the opportunity to not only enhance arts education at the school, but also enhance sciences and other curricular offerings; alleviate space problems; and make needed upgrades to the 77-year-old building at Ogontz and Olney avenues.
The MGA Partners architectural firm produced a high-quality slideshow and booklet in late summer as part of a feasibility study on the project. But fund-raising organizers thought a personalized, professional-grade video would also do much to stir alumni feelings about their alma mater.
Simultaneously in need of better video equipment for educational purposes, Central art teacher Peter Kelsey wrote a letter to leadership of the 228 asking for its help. The committee had been communicating with Robins and the alumni association about its efforts to have its class raise $228,000 to gift to Central in time for its 50-year reunion in 2019. The school would be grateful for such a gift in two years, but would be equally grateful for help funding some needs sooner.
“We presently have 15 home video cameras for class use,” Kelsey wrote to the committee members. “They are low-quality and do not have stabilization technology built in, resulting in low-quality footage. “The new equipment is being requested for multiple reasons: We are hoping to use the equipment to benefit the school with quality shot footage that can be used in projects that will benefit fundraising opportunities. We also like to create projects with industry standard equipment enabling our students to have the advantage when moving into college and industry jobs.”
Leadership of the 228 talked it over, and in December presented the AACHS with $5,000 towards President McKenna’s discretionary fund, and $5,000 to purchase professional grade video equipment (including a drone) from funds it has raised since its 45-year reunion in 2014. The $10,000 will count toward its $228,000 goal, said Class President and Committee Chairman Steve Kaplan.