From left to right back row: Cindy Parmer, executive director of Pasadena ISD community relations; Dixie Thompson ,Cheryl Ivens and Shelby Willis, Moore teachers; Shayla Northcutt, Northcutt Travel Agency; Kenny Fernandez, Pasadena ISD board member; Kasie Fernandez; Rugged Race founder; Cristina Womack; president and CEO for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Jeter and Gabe Cassell, Miles Service Corporation and Jill Lacamu, Moore principal. From left to right front row: Moore students Isabella Alvarez, Carter Burback, Jade Scott, Noah Obregon and Trinity Dang.
Dixie Thompson, Moore teacher, breaks the ground at the site for the new campus playground.
Moore Elementary received a donation of $29,000 for a new playground last month, thanks in large part to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and the Rugged Race.
The donation came to fruition after a long journey to gain sponsorships, started by Moore Elementary Principal Jill Lacamu and Memorial Coach Kasie Fernandez.
“We’ve never had a playground at Moore, but we started a running club to keep the kids active in January of last year,” Lacamu said. “We would run twice a week after school. With the students and parents support we signed up as a team for the Pasadena Rugged Race. The organizers saw that our group had the largest turn out from any school and they decided to help us get a playground.”
As one of the founders of the Rugged Race and an employee of the District, Coach Fernandez decided she would write a mini-grant to be considered for the fall 2015 Pasadena ISD Education Foundation Prize Parade, but the grant was not fulfilled.
“When we didn’t get the mini-grant, we thought ok back to the drawing board,” Lacamu said. “But that’s when the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce stepped in.”
Every year, the chamber holds an event called Taste of the Town. As part of the evening guests are given the opportunity to bid on live auction items. One of these auction items is traditionally a mini-grant project that was unfunded by the education foundation, but the chamber deems as a worthy cause. This year that mini-grant was for the Moore playground.
“We were able to stand in front of the group of donors and tell our story,” Lacamu said. “People started bidding and there was $1,000 here and a few hundred there. Before we knew it the total had reached $29,000. We were floored.”
At the end of the evening, there were 14 donors who generously raised the money to give to the campus.
“We were proud to partner with the Rugged Race and Kasie Fernandez to take our relationship with the education foundation to the next level,” Cristina Womack, president and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce said. “Through the Rugged Race we were able to choose a school that was active in that event and needed a playground. To our surprise, our donors gave very generously.”
One of the donors, Shayla Northcutt from Northcutt Travel agency felt compelled to give after the project struck a chord with her.
“I was born and raised in Pasadena,” Northcutt said. “I think it’s important to give back to your community, where you live and work, by giving back to the kids. I just want to give these kids the opportunity to have some memories of playing on a playground like I have. That’s the best gift we can give.”
Lacamu hopes to have a completed playground at Moore by September of this year.
Thanks to donors B.J. Dorsett, Dorsett Brothers Concrete Supply, Inc; Corkey Turner, Casa Ole-Deer Park; Robin Howington; Liz Olivarez, State Farm Insurance; Dusty and Cindy Davis, Lonestar Promo Products; Kevin Jeter, Miles Service Corporation; Kenny Fernandez, North American Shipping Agencies; Shayla Northcutt, Northcutt Travel Agency; Gloria Gallegos and Jack Bailey, Pasadena ISD; Roger Despres, Power-Mark Resources; Shelley Squires; Richard Smith and Sue Maceiras.