A solid Foundation for Will Rogers High
Will Rogers High School Community Foundation celebrates nearly 10 years.
Directors of the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation outside the school
In an era when education budgeting is a continuous challenge, investing more than $500,000 into a school’s students is no small feat. Since 2010, the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation has supported the school through a variety of fundraising efforts, not the least of which has been the school’s Hall of Fame gala.
The Hall of Fame was created by the founding board members of the Foundation to inspire current and future students by honoring distinguished alumni, according to Foundation President Lori Roberts.
“From household names like Leon Russell to those whose fame is more subtle, our Hall of Fame has some of the most amazing people,” Roberts says. “Will Rogers is in a low-income neighborhood, so our Hall of Fame is a great opportunity for students to see what people at Rogers have achieved.”
Speaking of Russell, the Foundation paid homage to the rock-and-roll legend and WRHS class of 1959 grad with a tribute concert this past February. A recently restored piano Russell played at Will Rogers served as the concert’s main feature.
“I was a stagecraft manager in high school, and keep in mind that when I saw Russell play, it was 1956 — the dawn of rock and roll,” says Dick Risk, the Foundation’s founder. “That piano has significance because that’s where he honed his skills.”
The Foundation funds lab equipment, painting supplies, sports uniforms and field trips, to name a few projects. Requests come from various sources, including the principal, individual board members, public suggestions, and the work of committees, Roberts says. Funds are raised through individual donations, tickets sold to the Hall of Fame gala, merchandise sales and special events, such as concerts.
“With the school’s 80th anniversary reunion coming up, I’m mostly proud of the fact that we’ve been this continuing resource for 10 years,” Roberts says. “I feel like we’re on the precipice of a huge step-up. I’m just so proud of the longevity of what we’ve done for Will Rogers students.”
To learn more, visit willrogersfoundation.net.