Niles Education Foundation commences new giving year

Published 10:29 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Niles Education Foundation is kicking off its 2015-2016 fundraising campaign with its second annual “Legendary Evening” at Orchard Hills Country Club on Saturday, August 22 beginning at 6 p.m. featuring Peg Parrott and music by the Sixth Generation, a nationally-acclaimed band made up of several Niles High School graduates from the 1960s.

Last year’s “Legendary Evening” was the Foundation’s first major fundraising event and thanks to the generosity of many local people, family foundations and local businesses, the Niles Education Foundation cleared $35,000!

The “legends” celebrated last year were the late Ed Weede, the former Niles athletic director and champion wrestling coach, and Peg Parrott the retired physical education teacher who literally built the Niles Community Schools girls’ athletic department following the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Parrott was unable to attend last year’s “Legendary Evening” due to illness, but she will once again be honored on August 22 when she appears at this year’s fundraising event! We are all looking forward to seeing her then.

Many people still are unfamiliar with the role the Niles Education Foundation plays in the lives of students of Niles Community Schools.

The NEF was founded in 2009 by a group of concerned local citizens, and since then the Foundation has raised and spent over $100,000 on grants and projects that are recommended by faculty and administrators of Niles Community Schools and selected for funding by the 12 trustees of the NEF.

The Niles Education Foundation (NEF) is a 501 (c) (3) charitable non-profit organization and contributions to the NEF are tax deductible. Because of the NEF tax status, it operates independently of the Niles Community Schools, the Niles School Board, state and federal education agencies and departments, and teachers’ unions.

Last summer, the NEF contributed $5,000 to the very successful community collaboration for the YMCA Summer My Way Camp conducted at Ballard Elementary School. Summer My Way was so successful that it is spreading to other school districts that need summer programs for the students.

The funds raised at this year’s “Legendary Evening” will help fund the Niles Community Schools Sumer My Way program once again and will allow the NEF to fund even more innovative programs that are currently not offered by the school system.

Other projects funded by the NEF during the previous school year include a science reading program for Howard Elementary, a charging cart for Chrome Books at Ring Lardner Middle School, and the all-purpose room at Northside School.

For more information about the Niles Education Foundation “Legendary Evening” on August 22, and to learn more about the NEF programs, visit their website at


Jack Strayer is a regular guest columnist for the Niles Daily Star and is the chair for fund development for the Niles Education Foundation.