Looking over the donated crayons, colored pencils, scissors, flash cards, dry erasers, composition books and many other school supplies delivered to the West Chester Area School District (WCASD) on behalf of the Rotary Club of West Chester are (from left) Veronica Ortiz, Margaret Nawn, Colette McLaughlin, Katelyn Phillips, caseworkers, Ann Ranari, WCASD Director of Pupil Services, Patricia Alston, Social Work Coordinator, Steve Brown Rotary President, Mac Neilon, and Anton Burrell.
For the ninth year in a row, Neilon, Rotarian and owner of Penn Office Products, and Alston, have coordinated the donation, with this year’s supplies totaling $1,800. Alston provides the list of most needed items by students from economically disadvantaged families as reported by WCASD caseworkers, and shares the list with Neilon.
“The supplies are dispersed among the 17 schools in the district through school caseworkers who work with kindergarten through 12th graders,” said Alston. “Without the help of organizations like Rotary, some students would begin the school year at an educational disadvantage. Donations like these go a long way in helping these families.”
Neilon and assistant Burrell, who has helped with the project for 19 years, working with other community organizations prior to Rotary, secures and delivers the needed supplies each fall. Funds for the supplies, having a retail value of $1,500, were secured by donations from club members, and supplemented by Neilon and Penn Office Products. Due to the pandemic in 2020, the club’s Chili Cook-off, which has provided previous year’s funds, was cancelled due to the pandemic. The cook-off is scheduled for October 2022.
Thanks to Mac for arranging the photo.