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Garden to grow long-term financial support for school

Written on January 30th, 2008

Trenton Christian School (TCS) is creating a garden that is to fulfill several purposes, including the provision of long-term financial support for the school.

The TCS Outdoor Planning Giving Garden is intended to help boost awareness and encourage long-term giving to the school foundation, according to Karen Whitley, development director.

The Central Ontario Christian Education Foundation (COCEF) is the umbrella foundation for seven Christian schools in the region. Donations can be made to COCEF for a designated school, including TCS. The interest gained from the designated funds each year are flowed directly to that particular school’s budget.

“Our hope in the future is that our foundation over time will make a major impact as it contributes money each year to our budget,” says principal Ed Petrusma.

An initial investment of $1,500 in the TCS foundation has grown to $83,00 over six years, providing an annual investment income of $4,575, according to Whitley.

Each school is responsible for raising awareness of the foundation, which the Trenton school has chosen to do through its planned giving garden.

By supplementing the annual operating budget of the school with the interest income generated by the fund, support for the garden helps the school keep tuition costs affordable and assists with the future development of the school.

Gift contributions can take a myriad of forms including trust funds, memorial gifts, gifts of shares or endowment, and others.

The ground breaking ceremony for the garden is scheduled for April 25, which is Arbour Day. It is also Grandparent’s Day at the school so the school plans to celebrate all three occasions with a tree-planting activity. Each student will plant a sapling with his or her grandparent or grand friend. About 250 trees are to be planted.

“This garden will be a perfect opportunity for all our school supporters, young and old, to work together to sustain its beauty and growth,” says Whitley.

The school is planning another event to raise awareness and support for the foundation. In May, a golf tournament will take place in partnership with two neighbouring Christian schools, Quinte Christian High School and Belleville District School. Students, staff, alumni, grandparents and other school supporters will be encouraged to come out for a day of fun. The three school’s individual foundations will be promoted.

Another main purpose of the garden is to foster the expansion of the school’s outdoor education curriculum.

“The garden will allow students to apply biblical verses related to the garden, marvel in God’s creations, expand their environmental studies, and become environmentally conscious,” says Whitley.