Verona’s public schools superintendent, Steven A. Forte, kicked off another fundraiser for the Verona Foundational for Educational Excellence. A Verona real estate broker and a Fairfield-based mortgage lender pledged to donate $1,500 apiece to VFEE for each Verona real estate transaction they handle between now and December 31.
The program involves Taylor Real Estate of Verona and 1st American Lending, and builds on fundraisers that both firms had pursued independently. Taylor Real Estate, owned by Glen Taylor, was already pledging $1,000 to a charity for each of its closings, while 1st American had been involved with a fundraiser that led to the construction of a new high school for Union City.
Forte was optimistic about the prospects for the new fundraiser. “At $1,500 each, it will add up quickly,” he said. Forte’s unconventional fundraising efforts–ads on the schools Web site and email newsletters, sponsorships and more, netted $107,000 for Verona during the last school year. They also have offset costs that the district would have incurred. After Forte met 1st American’s president, Fred Stringham, the firm sponsored the printing of a brochure about Verona schools’ accomplishments that was distributed to area real estate brokers.
As with the DeCozen car fundraiser earlier this year, funds raised by the real estate program will go to VFEE or the Caldwell/West Caldwell Education Foundation (CWCEF), depending on the town involved. VFEE funds grants to Verona public school teachers twice a year, to the tune of $30,000 last year. One of those grants brought a prominent composer to H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, who presented an assembly on music composition and created a concert band piece that HBW’s Gold Band performed at the spring concert.
There will be an announcement of the real estate program in today’s Friday Folder.