Sue Robinson introduced our speaker, Suzanne Kennedy, who was the driving force behind the creation of the Cambria Education Foundation. Suzanne has lived in Cambria since 1988 with her husband Jim Cunningham. They raised their two children, Mackenzie and Connor.

Suzanne started off by telling us that both her children went through RYLA and she is very grateful to Rotary for giving them that chance. She then went on the explain that CEF was founded in the parking lot of the middle school by 4 parents who were concerned about cuts in the State budget. After working for about 12 months, they were granted non-profit status. Through numerous fundraisers, they were able to give grants to teachers, support field trips and science camp as well as other projects.

Unfortunately the Cambria Education Foundation (CEF) has had to dissolve due to lack of volunteers but they have been fortunate to receive the support of the Cambria Community Council assist in providing grants to teachers in the Coast Unified School District. In an effort to streamline the grant process and provide the most efficient use of volunteers, the education grants will now run through the Council. CEF will transfer all current funds to the Council in support of education-related requests. Anyone who has supported CEF in the past is asked to now send their donation to Cambria Community Council and indicate that you would like the donation to go towards education.

One of the hardest things CEF had to give up was their annual end of the year party honoring those teachers who are retiring. They are hoping one of the non-profits in town will pick it up. (Hint, hint).

Suzanne was asked about the t-shirt she was wearing which had a “We Are One” logo on it. She explained that every student at Santa Lucia Middle School will be reading the book Refugee by Alan Gratz, a compelling story about three refugees from three different time periods in history. It ties in with the school-wide theme “We Are One”.