Inspired by a weeklong match from MSD Partners, L.P. and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, funding for staff and programs in Santa Monica public schools received a boost last week as 365 people made donations totaling $154,983 to the Santa Monica Education Foundation. The $15,000 match ran from January 25 to 31.

“We are so thrilled by this response,” said Ed Foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg.

“Even during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, this community’s dedication to public education is outstanding. Thank you to each donor who participated. Every gift counts. We are grateful to MSD Partners, L.P. and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows for their continued dedication to our local schools. Their commitment and leadership are an inspiration to so many who participated in this match.”

Annual donations to the Ed Foundation fund a slate of important programs and staff in the Santa Monica public schools, as determined by district staff and the SMMUSD Board of Education. The staff and programs include elementary instructional aides, elementary arts programs, and stretch grants for each Santa Monica public school. Each school decides how to spend their stretch grant, and many use these funds for student wellness, STEM programs, more arts programs and/or teacher training.

“MSD Partners and The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows are delighted with the results of this match,” said Ellis O’Connor of MSD Partners. “We are proud of our partnership with the Ed Foundation to help ensure that Santa Monica students experience an enriched education. We continue to be humbled by the community’s wonderful response to our matches over the years with the Ed Foundation. They are a wonderful example of the community coming together with a common purpose – to provide outstanding opportunities for our local children.”

Due to the pandemic, overall donations to the Ed Foundation are currently lower this year than last year, although recent fundraising efforts, including this match, have definitely helped.

“Our community is working hard to close the fundraising gap for our students,” said Linda

Greenberg. “We will continue fundraising for next year’s programs through June 30 with individual donations, our annual Santa Monica Wine Auction this spring, and corporate donations. I implore anyone who wants to help children in our local public schools to make a donation at smedfoundation.org.”

Submitted by Ann Conkle