By ALLISON MATYUS
A reboot of the Friends of Kenwood was announced during the Kenwood Academy High School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meeting last night, Feb. 2. The organization was reintroduced to help bring more money to the school.
Kenwood Academic Center parent and Friends of Kenwood President, Kimberly Harding, presented the organization’s new 501c3 non-profit status to parents at the meeting.
“We clearly needed an organization like this,” Harding said. “We all know that there’s not enough in the budget to support all schools.”
The revived Friends of Kenwood will act as a non-profit that will raise funds to help bridge the gap of the school’s budget, as well as implement and update technology, programs and after-school activities. The organization will benefit the Kenwood Academic Center and Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.
A previous version of the Friends of Kenwood was formed in the 1970s, according to Hyde Park resident Camille Hamilton – Doyle, who was a Kenwood parent and a member of the group back then. Before the organization dissolved in 2008, one of its main acts of service to the school was raising enough money to keep developers from purchasing the land that is now used as the school’s track and field.
Harding said that the revived Friends of Kenwood will develop different committees that parents can be apart of within the next two weeks.
“We aren’t looking for money from parents, we need boots on the ground to help get the word out and help plan,” she said.
The organization would receive money from planned fundraisers as well as from outside sources, like local businesses, that will go directly towards the school.
Principal Gregory Jones, who was at the meeting, said that some area businesses have already reached out wanting to contribute to the school.
The new Nando’s Peri-Peri, 1447 E. 53rd St., restaurant recently donated 100 percent of its opening day sales to Kenwood, raising over $11,000. The money went towards funding college trips for the students.
Danielle Merriweather – McDaniels, a PAC member and vice president of the Friends of Kenwood Board along with Harding and Malba Allan, said that a diverse group of people and talents are welcomed to be involved.
“Friends of Kenwood can be anyone, not just parents,” she said. “Everyone can contribute something to this organization.”