Foundation continues despite COVID-19 challenges
By Alex Piscatelli
Despite an unprecedented year, the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) Foundation is dedicated to supporting the school and the people in it.
SRHS Foundation President Suzanne Lawson said the foundation’s purpose is to help SRHS teachers, staff and students through fundraising.
“We do a lot of money management,” Lawson said. “The intent is to turn around … and put the money where they need it the most.”
This year’s fundraiser is called “Signs, Seats and Students.”
“We are fundraising for directional signs all across the campus, permanent seating around the quad … and with students, the emphasis is on mental health and funding all of our programs that can reach every student,” Lawson said.
Members of the board hold traditional board positions like president and treasurer, as well as chairs and committee members for major events.
“The majority of our board members have full-time careers,” Lawson said. “So, this is just their additional volunteer opportunity that they are participating in.”
While volunteering looks differently depending on what event is coming up, one constant is the foundation’s monthly board meeting. However, because of COVID-19, even that looks a little different.
“The first thing that (came) to mind, it’s a very cliché phrase, ‘Never waste a good crisis,’” Lawson said. “We had to pivot as quickly as we could.”
By April 2020, the foundation switched to virtual communication via Zoom.
“We’ve been on Zoom ever since,” Lawson said. “That has been fantastic.”
The foundation members faced a setback when they were unable to access their mailbox due to closures.
“That was huge,” Lawson said. “It doesn’t sound huge, but the impact, all of our funding dollars … (were) sitting in the mail held at the district for three months.”
Lawson said those obstacles were frustrating, “but everyone became very gracious because we realized there’s nothing we can do.”
Now, the foundation is making necessary changes to thrive despite the challenges.
“I think we just really embraced technology, like everyone else has to in society,” Lawson said.
The foundation now utilizes QR codes, virtual meetings and electronic payments.
“That’s probably our biggest accomplishment,” Lawson said.
The foundation’s upcoming events include a virtual Taste of the Ranch on May 1 and a COVID-safe version of Grad Nite.
“(We) are working with possibly the Zoo or SeaWorld to host something, more of a Grad Day activity, and really trying to make that happen for the seniors,” Lawson said.
Lawson is committed to giving back to SRHS, where her son graduated in 2019 and her daughter is attending as a junior.
“All parents and community members can participate in the foundation, and we’re always looking for more volunteers and more people to help,” Lawson said.
The foundation’s website can be found at srhsfoundation.org.