D51 Schools receive $100K from Pat and Tillie Bishop Legacy Initiative to fund Extracurricular Activities

School District 51, D51 Foundation and the Western Colorado Community Foundation are pleased to announce a $100,000 donation from the new Pat and Tillie Bishop Legacy Fund. Established earlier this year at the Community Foundation, this initiative will support high school student participation in extracurricular activities. Central, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction, Palisade and R-5 High Schools will all be receiving support from this funding. While the exact amount of funding in the future cannot be known, funding is expected to continue for 20 years.

“Both Pat and Tillie Bishop were known champions of education… K-12 and higher education. Pat was a high school teacher for decades at Central High School and understood well the value of extracurricular programs for students. She established the first Future Business Leaders of America club here in the Grand Valley. What a fitting philanthropic legacy to fund club and extracurricular activities across our district to benefit our high school students. This funding will support exploring different interests and developing skills to complement their academic learning,” says Anne Wenzel, President and CEO of Western Colorado Community Foundation.

“On behalf of School District 51, I want to say how honored we are to receive this generous donation from Tillie and Pat Bishop in support of extracurricular activities in our D51 high schools. 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,” notes Brian Hill, Ed.D., School District 51 Superintendent.
Funds are to be used to support high school clubs and extracurricular programs and student participation in these activities such as band, theater, math and science clubs, speech and debate, robotics, Knowledge Bowl, CTE programs (FBLA, FFA, FCCLA), athletic programs, and travel to in-state competitions.
“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,” adds Angela Christensen, Ph.D., School District 51 Foundation Executive Director.

Central High School Principal Lanc Selden said, “This is such an amazing support for students in the valley. Pat and Tillie have a long history of supporting education and kids in Mesa County and beyond. 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 offerings and less worry about fundraising for events, supplies, or competition travel. I see student involvement increasing exponentially, and I am excited for our organizations to expand.”