Some 200 persons turned out for a Tiger Drive for Excellence fundraiser, and although the final numbers haven’t been tallied, event chair William Prebola said it was a great night for the school district.
After entertainment provided by Popstar Drive with the hits of yesteryear, appetizers and a full course set of food stations for attendees at the Stone Hedge Golf Course, Prebola took to the microphone and said the night was kind of a dream of his of three years earlier, when the idea of forming an advisory committee was conceived.
“I’m hoping this will be every bit as successful next year and the year after that, too,” he said, “We need a permanent source of funding so there are no kids in our district who don’t have a chance to succeed wherever their dreams take them.”
Prebola explained that proceeds from the evening would benefit the Tunkhannock Area School District extra-curicular, co-curricular and STEM-related programs.
He introduced the other members of the Advisory Council of the Tunkhannock Area School District Foundation which included Robert Brown, Don Sherwood, Sally Steele, Dick Daniels, Dr. Art Sherwood, Rod Azar, Rob Parry, Barb Yonchiuk Maculloch, Bill Ruark, Dr. Christine Stroka and Peter Quigg.
He introduced Superintendent Heather McPherson, and said, “We believe we’re able to help Heather accomplish her visions.”
McPherson looked out over the crowd and said it was about three years ago that night that she decided to seek the position she now holds, and she doesn’t regret it.
“We want Tunkhannock to be a different destination district where students are excited about going to school,” she said. “We’ve got a great board, great teachers, why shouldn’t we have that?”
“We have to be concerned about achievement, and we want our kids engaged, whether it be STEM, robotics or some other career path,” McPherson said. “Our goal is to have our students graduate with a diploma in one hand and a certificate of a skill mastered in the other.”
“Tomorrow is better is possible,” she said. “I’m hoping you will continue to embrace our vision and we thank you so much for supporting the Tiger Fund, and making this happen.”
Prebola asked Wyoming County Coroner Tom Kukuchka to take center stage for a special introduction.
“The guy most of you already know is a 1988 graduate of Tunkhannock where he was a star catcher on the baseball team,” Kukuchka said. “He was involved in a freak accident and he could have said to heck with life, but his spinal cord injury has been his passion, and his family has raised $600,000 for spinal cord research over the years.”
Kukuchka added, “He’d like to help our cause tonight by auctioning off a 2-week vacation in Oahu, Hawaii.”
Kevin Kitchnefsky took the microphone and said simply, “Anything I can do to help children, I’m all for it.”