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Cornerstone raises more than $56K for tuition assistance

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 10:50 p.m. CDT
(Jeff Engelhardt –
Pre-kindergarten students high five Zion the Lion during the Laps for Learning fundraiser Friday at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Sycamore. The event raises money for tuition assistance. It generated more than $56,000.

SYCAMORE – Bouncing on balls around a gym turned out to be quite the economic stimulus for Cornerstone Christian Academy.

The private Sycamore school held its annual Laps for Learning event Friday to raise money for families who need tuition assistance. Organizers recorded a record amount after a late, anonymous $15,000 donation came in after lunch.

School Administrator Tom Olmstead said more than $56,000 was raised for a program that is increasingly used each year with roughly 40 of the 330 students needing assistance last year. Olmstead said he is amazed at the amount of money students receive in pledges during a five-week fundraising period.

“The kids send out donation requests for doing a certain amount of laps in a period of time and they do a great job with it,” Olmstead said. “It’s all them.”

The whole school participates in the event, even the preschool and kindergarten students who participate in some fun laps such as bouncing on balls and skipping around the gym with the school’s new mascot Zion the Lion.

Corporate sponsors also help make the event possible as Chick-fil-A provided 350 lunches, Brown’s County Market provided water and local Coldwell Banker agents contributed event shirts.

For a tuition that averages a little more than $5,000 per year, Olmstead said the annual fundraiser is crucial to keeping access open to those families who want their children enrolled.

“We don’t want money to be a limiting factor,” Olmstead said. “We want families who want their children enrolled here to be able to do that.”

The donations, which are tax deductible, also benefit the athletics department and parents association. Last year, the athletics department was able to purchase bleachers for the soccer field because of the fundraiser and the parents organization purchased a smart board for secondary students.

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