In the short time since the Winchester Education Foundation was re-energized in 2009 following its dormancy during the Handley High School Capital Campaign, the organization has accomplished quite a lot. In addition to raising funds through direct solicitations, WEF has sponsored exciting fundraising projects and initiated meaningful programs.
Partnering with a local event promotions firm, the Foundation staged two major concerts at John Handley High School in the newly-dedicated Patsy Cline Theatre: Willie Nelson on October 29, 2009 and the Beach Boys on October 5, 2010. Read more.
In August, 2010, WEF announced the Free Admission Program, a joint venture with the H. N. Funkhouser Company, in which all city schoolchildren are admitted at no cost to sporting events at Handley High School and Daniel Morgan Middle School. This program not only assists families within the school system who might have difficulty paying admission fees for their children; it also benefits the student-athletes competing in the athletic contests as well as the youngsters who may become future student-athletes of our schools. Finally, the program promotes the feeling of community participation and support at these events and financially benefits related school groups through vending and merchandise sales.
In the autumn of 2010, the Foundation’s Executive Director and other community leaders led the effort to erect a permanent memorial plaque in the main hall at Handley High School honoring those who attended Winchester Public Schools and who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, perishing in our nation’s wars since 1922. This plaque, sponsored by the Foundation and paid for through private fundraising efforts, was dedicated in a moving Veterans’ Day program on November 11, 2010 which featured distinguished speakers and musical tributes by the Handley band and the Hilltop Singers.