2019 Dream Big Annual Campaign Raises $300,000

Quincy Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Kent Embree credits raising awareness, building community relationships and strong volunteer leadership for another successful Dream Big Annual Campaign.

The 2019 campaign exceeded its $200,000 by $100,000, reaching a final total of $300,000 announced Friday night, January 17.

“Quincy clearly understands the importance of a strong education system and that today’s students are the future of our vibrant community. Thanks to the generous support for this year’s campaign, the QPS Foundation will continue to enrich our schools’ academic, athletic and arts programs and give our students every opportunity for success,” said Dale Stevenson, who chaired the campaign with her husband John.

Proceeds from the campaign will support the five “pillars” of the foundation — curriculum, technology, fine arts, athletics and endowment — along with special projects and professional development and training for teachers.

“It also helps us with benefiting operations of the foundation,” Embree said. “The stronger the foundation gets, the more we’re able to do in terms of our capacity to help.”

More help is needed to support what Embree sees as a growing need within the school district.

“This past year the number of applications for our grants has increased significantly, which really demonstrates the financial needs our classrooms face every day,” he said.

The campaign’s major fundraising event, the “A Night to Dream Big” gala dinner which posthumously honored H.W. “Knap” Knapheide III, had a record attendance of more than 750 people and raised a record $108,000.

“We really wanted to honor Knap in some way for everything he did during his life for the Quincy Public Schools,” Embree said.

During its last fiscal year, the foundation provided over $370,000 to supplement the district’s budget and more than $3.1 million since the first “A Night to Dream Big” fundraiser in 2013.

The annual campaign, scaled-up in 2018, further stresses the importance of community support for education because “public education is not completely funded by our taxes,” Embree said. “If we want that level of excellence we expect and Quincy pride, it takes all of us working together to make that happen.”

Gifts to the QPS Foundation may be made through the foundation office at Quincy High School, through the mail or online at qpsfoundation.org.

The QPS Foundation encourages donations for its endowed funds called “Circles of Investment” to benefit specific designations across the school district. A minimum of $10,000 is required to found and name a circle, but contributions also may be made any time to support existing circles.

By Deborah Gertz Husar Herald-Whig