The NBEF board took on the challenge of raising at least $100,000 from Able Bodied Businesses in the New Bedford and SouthCoast area, to celebrate and enhance the ongoing contributions of Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Joan Jacobs and the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego County. The original plan was to find at least 100 businesses who will commit $1000 each, or to raise the same amount with larger or smaller investments. It took more than one year, but we have surpassed our original goal by quite a bit. The response has remained strong and consistent. Local business has a powerful and unshakable commitment to improving the opportunities for New Bedford Public School students. The limitation to our achievement has been the amount of time that I, and some of the other board members, can take to contact those who may have an interest. Our success rate for contributions has not been 100%, but we are close.
Michael Dyer of the NB Whaling Museum told us that ‘able bodied seaman’ is a compliment, denoting strength, experience and reliability. NBEF needs those character traits from partners to improve public schooling in New Bedford.
One family trust who has requested anonymity has recently given NBEF $30,000 over two years, up from $20,000 over the previous two years. William F. Nye Company has committed yet another $7500 for now, with the hope of doing even more in coming years. Many small business owners, attorneys and other professionals have given $1000 each or more, and at least two gave $500. In almost every case, there is a verbal commitment to do at least as much in the coming year, provided that these businesses continue to do as well as they are doing now.
What drives us to make a different is this: we know absolutely that the greater New Bedford area has a remarkable number of unique, high quality resources dedicated to education and the environment, the arts and the cultural diversity enjoyed by this part of the world. Our job at NBEF is to connect the students of the New Bedford public schools with some or all of these fine institutions, and to take full advantage of what they can offer.
If you will consider having your company an Able Bodied Business, or know of someone who might like to help, feel free to contact me or any other NBEF board member. We will provide details about what we do and how we are helping the school children of New Bedford.
On behalf of the NBEF Board of Directors, I thank you for making our initial few years such a success. We invite you to be part our efforts over the next few years.
Neal Weiss, Vice-Chairman, NBEF board
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