Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools
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News Release
Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools Raises Record $300,000 from Luncheon Including $50,000 Grant from the Firstenburg Foundation (Photo) - 05/15/19

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) held its 17th Annual Luncheon on May 7, 2019. The event saw its largest attendance to date and raised a record $300,000 in support of the 23,000 students in 37 VPS schools and programs across the district. During the event, it was announced that the Firstenburg Foundation awarded the Foundation for VPS a $50,000 challenge grant in support of Community Schools to fund basic needs, family-stability services and enrichment activities in schools across the district. 

Washington State Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib provided the keynote address, during which he reflected on his own time as a student while battling cancer and loss of eyesight. He praised the Foundation for VPS and the district for their work removing obstacles to student learning. 

The luncheon’s program included remarks by Eisenhower Elementary Principal Jennifer Blechschmidt, students supported through their school’s Family-Community Resource Centers, and a parent helped through the Foundation for VPS housing stability fund. McLoughlin Middle School teacher Jason Hattrick and 2 students were the event MCs.

“This year, we celebrated the many talents of VPS students. We thank the Vancouver community for their support of high-quality public education for ALL students, including a strong K-12 arts program and career and technical education,” said Wheelock. “Thank you to our donors who help remove barriers and provide enrichment, engagement, and mentoring opportunities to students throughout the year.” 

Students, staff, and community volunteers worked behind the scenes to help put on the event. Guests enjoyed a meal prepared and served by culinary students from Fort Vancouver High School. Décor included floral arrangements designed by Hudson’s Bay FFA Floral & Horticulture students and artwork from Alki Middle School. Skyview High, Felida Elementary, and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics students provided the entertainment. Student photographers from Hudson’s Bay and Skyview captured the event. 

For over 30 years, the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools has leveraged financial support from the community to remove barriers so students come to school healthy, happy and ready to learn. The Foundation funds basic needs, mentoring, enrichment, early education, including support of 18 Family-Community Resource Centers with two mobile units.


The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools is an independent, 501(c)3 educational non-profit corporation established in 1988 to support Vancouver Public Schools (VPS). Governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of business, community, and education leaders, the foundation creates opportunities to cultivate and inspire student success. As an educational non-profit entity, the foundation serves students at all 37 VPS schools and programs, providing direct aid to students facing learning barriers due to economic need, as well as financial assistance for early learning programs, learning enrichment, and mentoring programs that cannot be funded by the school district. The Foundation for VPS is supported by donations from school employees, parents, students, community members, businesses and foundations. 

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