Lake County School Budgets and Sweet Treats Scholarships

As reported on January 13th, Lake County daughter Haley Gerig and her mother Shelly were responsible for hosting a charity fashion show and shopping experience to raise money for local 8th graders interested in participating in the arts during their high school career. Haley and Shelly recognized the disproportionate financial attention given to “all other” compared to sporting programs- as found in the financial reports of School Board of Lake County.

The bright blue sign marks the location of the Lake County School Board in Tavares, Florida (photo:Michelle Turner).

The bright blue sign marks the location of the Lake County School Board in Tavares, Florida (photo:Michelle Turner).

SPORTING PROGRAMS versus “ALL OTHER”

The Sunshine Review is a website that examines the transparency and situations within local government agencies. While it has not been updated since January of 2012, it details how the budget crisis has been plaguing the Lake County School Board since 2009.

According to financial records found on the Lake County School Board website, taking in consideration the figures for Leesburg High School as an example, the supplemental differences  between sporting programs and what the county deems as “all other” are as follows:

2010-2011School Year:  74.543% in favor of sporting programs

2011-2012School Year:  52.338% in favor of sporting programs

2012-2013School Year:  51.054% in favor of sporting programs

A faded sign on the side of a School Board office building reads "Children First." (Photo: Michelle Turner).

A faded sign on the side of a School Board office building reads “Children First.” (Photo: Michelle Turner).

 

More recent articles on sites such as the Orlando Sentinel echo similar sentiments to that of The Sunshine Review and Sweet Treats for a Cause- Lake County students need a financial helping hand.

Haley’s Clothing and Commitment

During the show, co-creator and fashion designer showed clothes from her own line Haley’s Comet Clothing. Haley chose her personal aesthetic because as she shared “It’s fun to design for every type of woman-teacher, business woman, after hours business parties or even students.”

While her goal is to expand her company and brand, while also doing custom made designs for the client she describes as the “elite or every day woman who wants to feel special at an event”, she wants to further the mission of Sweets Treats for a Cause by “encouraging more teen involvement to create awareness for the parents next year.”Haley was very excited when the event reached their goal of $10,000 in scholarships and is committed to exceeding that next year.

Some of Dance Depot's younger dancers take center stage at Sweet Treats for a Cause on January 12, 2013 in Mt. Dora (Photo: Michelle Turner).

Some of Dance Depot’s younger dancers take center stage at Sweet Treats for a Cause on January 12, 2013 in Mt. Dora (Photo: Michelle Turner).

Shelly’s Perspective…

When Haley first approached her mother Shelly about her idea for the Sweet Treats event, Shelly admits, “I was excited because that has been a goal for her. She has been in many shows, but wanted to do her own and find a way to help other kids find their creative means since many cuts happened (in the extra curricular activities) and parents now have to pay the fees. Since I work with the Safe Climate Coalition that works on prevention methods for anti substance and violence with youth, it seemed like the perfect fit.”

Up and Coming dancers from Dance Depot in Umatilla perform at the Sweet Treats event on January 12, 2013 in Mt. Dora (photo: Michelle Turner).

Up and Coming dancers from Dance Depot in Umatilla perform at the Sweet Treats event on January 12, 2013 in Mt. Dora (photo: Michelle Turner).

Shelly also shared what it felt like to see Haley take the runway at her own fashion show fundraiser, “As a mom, I am extremely proud and happy to see her dream become a reality. She worked hard all through high school and college to come out (of college) with honors and in only three years. So amazed is probably a better word. I enjoy seeing her designs on stage because I see the day-to-day effort she puts into every stitch. Seeing her on the stage is really the icing on the cake.”

…and Safe Climate Connection

Shelly’s connection to the Safe Climate Coalition is the key to how the scholarships are going to be distributed. “The scholarship committee has determined those going into the 9th grade at a Lake County public school next year and participating in either Band, Theatre, Chorus or Color Guard can apply. The amount for each will be determined by the amount of students successfully applying via an essay titled “Why I want to be in the Arts”.

Most of All, Shelly and Haley are “thankful for the community leaders, models, sponsors, vendors and volunteers who stepped up to make the event a reality. We LOVE our community!”

 

Haley Gerig can be reached at haleygerig@hotmail.com 

Shelly Gerig can be reached at writer@shellygerig.com

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