The West High Alumni Association’s inaugural West Giving Week surpassed all expectations, exceeding its $10,000 goal and raising a total of $25,638 in gifts and pledges from more than 100 donors.
West Giving Week is a new tradition that will be held annual in conjunction with West High Homecoming.
“We are humbled and blown away by the generosity of our alumni and donors,” said Bryce Williams, president of the WHAA. “I’d like to thank all of those who give to the alumni association during Giving Week and throughout the year.You truly are the lifeblood of our organization. Your support will enable us to provide more programming and scholarships to help fellow Panthers pursue their educational goals.”
The nearly $26,000 total includes a $10,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor and $5,000 gift from the Utah Lodge 1 | O.O.F. Additionally, the Class of 1979 contributed a total of more than $1,500. Other major gifts were made by Connie Clawson (Class of 1979), Jennifer Peterson (Class of 2007), Mark and Laura Willes (Class of 1959), Cameron Soelberg (Class of 1994) and in memory of Clark Watterson (Class of 1939).
West Giving Week is more than just the total money raised, but rather about supporting a culture of philanthropy, gratitude and giving back to the West High community. The funds raised through the event will support the mission of the West High Alumni Association, which is focused on preserving school history and tradition, celebrating alumni and helping alumni and students reach their educational goals.
In particular, the West Giving Week funds will be used to expand the alumni association’s scholarship and mentorship programs.
During the 2018-2019 school year, the West High Alumni Association awarded nearly $90,000 in scholarships to 30 WHS alumni and graduating seniors. 26 scholarship recipients are also taking part of an inaugural mentorship program through WHAA, which is focused on increasing college retention and graduation rates among West High alumni.
The vast majority of WHAA scholarships work to eliminate barriers to education for West High alumni. Last year, 83 percent of WHAA senior scholarship applicants we the first in their family to attend college, 75 percent were ethnic minority students and 53 percent spoke English as a second language.
Last school year, the West High Alumni Association awarded nearly $90,000 in scholarships. Through the generosity of West Giving Week donors, the alumni association plans to expand the amount of dollars allocated to the scholarship fund.
West High alumni and friends are encouraged to continue to support the mission of WHAA throughout the year. Donations to WHAA are accepted year round by check or at westalumni.org/donate.