End of Year Letter from PTO President, Bill Chiulli Dear Cougar Community, As we close out the school year, I wanted to take a moment to thank all o


End of Year Letter from PTO President, Bill Chiulli

Dear Cougar Community,

As we close out the school year, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of our parents, teachers, and volunteers for an amazing year. Because of this community’s fundraising and volunteer efforts, we were able to offer an action-packed year filled with many new and exciting events like our New Fall Festival and Glowing Spring Fling. The events that the Desert Cove Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) support reinforces the already strong fabric of our Cougar Community. By continuing to build a strong community, we help to enrich the educational experience of our children.

While it is easy to see our PTO in action by highlighting events like those above, it may be difficult to see the day-to-day impact that the PTO has on Desert Cove and our children. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of those items to help you understand the importance of your continued support:
These activities demonstrate a direct impact on our children’s education. Without our support these items and programs will become challenging to maintain and could cease to exist at Desert Cove. This is why the community and school are so grateful for parents like you. Without your support our children would not have all of these wonderful opportunities.

As we wrap up the school year, we have finalized and approved our budget for the 2016-2017 School Year, viewable by clicking here. In order for our PTO to continue to offer the same level of teacher and student support as previous years, it will require a budget of $ 29,275.00. While this sounds like an astronomical number to somehow raise, it is not! With a student population of approximately 550 students that equates to $50.00 per student. It will cost us $50.00 per student to continue offering our community the same level of support that we are currently offering.

The good news is that this amount is approximately the same as the operating budget that we have had for the past two years. Our community has already been successful in helping us to raise funds to support our activities.

A significant portion of our fundraising success was attributed to our partnership with the Apex Fun Run organization in our fundraising efforts. Going forward however, we will not have this partnership for our 2016-2017 school year and will not be using a fun run this year as a fundraiser. While we have had great success with APEX we believe it is time that we part ways with APEX and look for alternative activities to raise funds to support our activities.

While leaving APEX adds pressure to our community fundraising effort, I would like to shed some light on the factors that drove our decision. As you may have guessed, there is a fee for being able to participate in events like APEX. The fee for partnering with APEX was approximately 48% of our donations. While this might seem exorbitant, I have had APEX give me an expense breakdown of how that 48% is used. For example, it costs about $13,500 a year for Apex put on our event. A big portion of that 48% has been used to cover these expenses. This year, APEX presented me with a contract that raised their expenses to approximately 60% and dropped our rate of earnings to 40%. We believe that this is unfair to our community and realized that we needed to do something different.

A few months ago we put together a special Fundraising Committee to come up with the best fundraising option for Desert Cove. We reviewed several fundraising programs utilized by different schools and PTO’s in our district, and even met with another PTO group to discuss fundraising successes and challenges. We believe that we have compiled a smart and simple campaign that will be easy and exciting for our community to participate in, which will replace APEX and will keep 100% of donations within our school! Plus it will come with some cool perks! I am very excited about this program and I look forward to launching it next year!In the coming weeks, we will be outlining our new Desert Cove PTO Fundraising Program that will kick off at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, so stay tuned!!

As you reflect on this past year, please know that you made a difference and you were a big part in making 2015-2016 a great and memorable year. I look forward to working with the Cougar Community to make 2016-2017 another unforgettable year. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful community! I thank each and every one of you for everything you have done this year to support students and staff. Without you, none of these things would be possible. You should be proud of the huge difference you made in your child’s education this year.

Please have a safe and happy summer - enjoy your families!


Bill Chiulli

Desert Cove PTO President
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