A big fundraising boost from the E & G Odette Foundation has helped the Bishop Strachan School to reach 70 percent of its $35 million goal.
The philanthropic organization spearheaded by the late Edmond Odette and wife Gloria donated $1 million to the school Oct. 5 to help with the construction of their new wing.
Twenty million dollars has been earmarked for the new build, already underway, and head of the school Deryn Lavell says she couldn’t be more pleased.
“It was a lovely surprise,” she says. “Any time you have generous donors it’s just a wonderful gift to the school.”
Bishop Strachan’s Intersection Campaign is made up of three funds: the campus fund, community fund and innovation fund.
The campus fund focuses on the new building which features focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as the arts.
“Our new facilities will be able to take what is happening with our program and bring it to life along with the environment as well,” Lavell said.
The community fund helps day girls and boarding students through a financial assistance.
The innovation fund allows the school to keep their teachers and staff up-to-date on the current educational trends.
“It allows us to have incredible expertise on the campus,” Lavell said. “We can have authors, composers, scientists and artists thanks to our generous donors.”
A crane is already on campus helping to construct the new wing of the school with a spring 2017 completion deadline.
That’s just in time for the school’s 150th anniversary, which is coincidentally Canada’s 150th birthday.
Jonelle Istead, Bishop Strachan’s campaign director is looking forward to that celebration, and the community coming together has made her optimistic they’ll reach the $35 million goal before the big celebration.
“This is the biggest [fundraiser] in our history,” she said. “We’re excited by the enthusiasm of the community around this campaign.”
She’s been tasked with reaching out to the Old Girls as well as the parents of current students, and the feedback has been positive.
“The gifts of a million dollars are phenomenal, and it’s also the gifts of any amount really,” Istead said. “It’s that sign that your community is behind you 100 percent and they’re stretching to give you what they can. It’s pretty remarkable.”
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