Community gathers in support of Boonville's educational future

On Wednesday evening the Flamingo Bay Ball Room at Isle of Capri Casino was packed with individuals interested in the future education of Boonville students for the Third Annual Boonville R-1 Foundation Dinner.
Throughout the evening individuals mingled, talked and ate prior to the introduction of guest speaker and the awarding of grant money. Superintendent of the Boonville R-1 School District Mark Ficken opened the evening with a quote.
"It's not the size of the gift that matter, it is the size of the heart giving it," Ficken said.
Ficken spoke about the foundation and the purpose it has within the community. He said the foundation is a important part in continuing the education throughout the area and asked for support in continuing its vision.
"I ask you tonight, how big is your heart?" Ficken asked.
Ficken introduced Dr. Jeffrey Kempf, a 1974 BHS graduate, to give the keynote address. Kempf is the son of Bernard V. (Bud) and Yvonne Kempf. Ficken said he was a star athlete in football. Kempf is the Director of the Office Pediatric Global Health at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio.
Kempf gave a presentation on his experience in helping the children in Haiti after the large earthquake in 2010. Kempf told stories about the children he helped along with their daily struggles.
He said over 250,000 individuals perished during the quake that left over a million homes unlivable. Kempf's presentation also included a couple videos that showed the devastation and the conditions the inhabitiants have to contend with on a daily bases.
Kempf said one of the wonderful achievements of the western world in eradicating cholera was turned upside down when it was brought to Haiti by peace keepers from Nepal, therefore adding another disaster upon another. He said there is now an outbreak every year. He showed pictures of children who were undergoing treatment while he was in the country.
As part of the foundation's purpose of supplying teachers and staff with the supplies they need to provide a better educational environment, the foundation awarded grants to different schools within the district.
A grant in the amount of $3,102 was used to purchase three sets of 10 graphing calculators for classes at Laura Speed Elliot and BHS. An instructional grant for the National Archery of Schools Program at LSE and BHS in the amount of $3,000. The Missouri conservation Department will add $500 to this amount as well. A $2,015 grant was awarded to the CPR glass at the Boonslick Technical Institute for the purchase of 10 Mannequins for CPR training. A $230 grant was awarded to Hannah Cole Primary so two individuals can attend the Professional Development Conference. A technology grant in the amount of $2,500 will purchase Ipads for different classes at HCP. A trip to Science City in St. Louis for David Barton Elementary students will be funded by a $600 grant from the foundation. A $217.50 grant was awarded to David Barton to purchase a subscription Scholastic News.