The Morning News â€” Lisa Lete
Blackfoot High School Bronco Boosters (president Kelly Mansanarez; vice-president Tami Fairchild and secretary Jennifer Bergeson) and principal John Pearce were thrilled to receive a check for $7,000 Friday afternoon from Brent Higginson, plant manager of Basic American Foods, to purchase a new digital marquee for the high school.
The 'retro' marquee in front of Blackfoot High School (BHS) will soon be retired to a new location and replaced by a new state-of-the art digital marquee
thanks to a $7,000 donation from Basic American Foods.
BHS is one of a handful of local schools to receive much-needed grant money for various projects from Basic American.
Basic American Plant Manager Brent Higginson said, "Basic American believes strongly in education and gives thousands of dollars every year to schools in the area through their 'corporate giving program.' "
BHS principal John Pearce said, with this donation, they now have enough money to purchase a new $24,000 digital marquee for the high school, something they have been working toward purchasing the past couple of years.
"We've had contributions from Bronco Boosters, The Blackfoot Performing Arts Center, The BHS Athletic Foundation and class donations," Pearce said. "Gail Johnsen from the Class of '68 helped raise a lot of money by bringing the 'Broadway Lights' performance to BPAC..and now with this donation we'll be good to go."
The new marquee should be installed in time for the 2012-13 school year.
"We will definitely find a new home for the original marquee - possibly in the football field at the concession stand," Pearce said. "It's 'retro'...it has the original Bronco design on it and has been at this school forever."
Other recent recipients of the generous grant money donated by Basic American include:
-Riverside Elementary School: $1,000 to purchase lower level books to improve reading skills.
-Idaho Reads VISTA at Stoddard Elementary School: $1,000 to purchase books for K-third grade 'Reading Challenge' program.
-Snake River High School Track and Field program: $2,350 to purchase a new discus cage.
Annie Tanner representative for Idaho Reads VISTA at Stoddard Elementary said she is so grateful for the money that Basic American has provided.
"We applied for the grant money to buy books. Our emphasis is on family literacy - there is nothing more important than books in the home, " Tanner said. "Now we have money to buy books and have reward parties when goals are met on the 'reading challenges.'
Higginson said he encourages the schools to apply for grant money through Basic American Foods.
"Let us know your need," he said. "The 'Hume Family,' who founded Basic American, believed in giving back to education and we continue to do that through scholarships and grants."
Higginson said that $2.8 million have been donated to area schools since 1992 and that any child of a Basic American Foods employee 'will' receive a $1,500 scholarship - all they have to do is apply.
Basic American Foods specializes in prepared potatoes, chili and beans for the food service industry and has facilities in Blackfoot, Shelley, Rexburg and Moses Lake, Wash.