$100,000 donation to support high school activities

Brian Hill
Anne Wenzel

A $100,000 donation will support participation among Grand Valley high school students in extracurricular activities.

Mesa County School District 51, the School District 51 Foundation and Western Colorado Community Foundation announced the donation from the Pat and Tillie Bishop Legacy Fund.

Central, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction, Palisade and R-5 high schools all will receive support from the fund for music, sports and theater programs as well academic, agricultural, business, robotic and speech groups. 

“Pat and Tillie both understood the importance of investing in and supporting children in our community. And because of their generous donation, extracurricular activities at all five D51 high schools will flourish in a way that will make a positive impact on numerous D51 students for years to come,” said Brian Hill, School District 51 superintendent.

Angela Christensen, executive director of the School District 51 Foundation, agreed. “This generous donation will have a lasting impact in our community. And to the students benefitting from these funds, it has the potential to be life-changing.”

Anne Wenzel, president and chief executive officer of the Western Colorado Community Foundation, said the foundation established the fund as legacy of the late Pat and Tillie Bishop, who were public school teachers. Tillie Bishop also served as an administrator and later a trustee a what’s now Colorado Mesa University.

“What a fitting philanthropic legacy to fund club and extracurricular activities across our district to benefit our high school students,” Wenzel said. “This funding will support exploring different interests and developing skills to complement their academic learning.”

Lanc Selden, principal at Central High School, also praised the donation. “These funds are a game changer for so many groups and clubs within a school. Our hope is to increase the opportunities available for all students through increased extracurricular activities and less worry about fund-raising for events, supplies or competition travel.