Fueled by a can-do attitude and fearlessness, the staff at Take Stock in Children’s Lake and Sumter County program is gearing up for a new twist on fundraising. This year, they’re adding a new event – their first-ever Footgolf for Education tournament to be held March 16, 2016. Footgolf combines the popular sports of soccer and golf into one fun event. Always mixing things up for the good of her students, Gail Weidner, program director, and her staff are known for their creative, out-of-the-box fundraising events that are critical to serving more students. The program currently hosts an annual spelling bee that is the buzz of the community, raising more than $17,000 dollars with the proceeds benefiting students in Lake and Sumter Counties.
Gail says these events are important to raise the scholarship dollars necessary to send her students to college. Her students also benefit from the program’s annual college campus tours. They get an opportunity to visit Lake Technical Center in Eustis, Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, University of North Florida, Florida State College of Jacksonville and Florida Technical College. Gail strongly believes these college tours help students learn firsthand about the admissions policies, financial aid, and campus culture.
Gail says her team works hard to promote success in their students and celebrate their achievements. The program has succeeded. Founded in 1996, Take Stock Lake and Sumter County currently serves 185 students and maintains a 95% mentor match rate. This year, the program has received 96 applications and will be inducting 40 new students, continuing a 20-year tradition of transforming lives through education.