Mayor distributes Charity Ball funds to educators

Feb. 3—ANDERSON — Educators at Anderson High School received grant funds to provide food for students, a choir show and a naval ball through the Mayor's Charity Ball program.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. distributed $2,000 checks to several educators as part of the $45,000 raised through the annual event.

A total of 31 local educators were awarded grant funds this year.

Since 2016, the annual Mayor's Ball has provided $336,000 in grants to local educators.

Social workers Missy Morris and Melissa Lee received $2,000 after applying for grants for the first time.

"We intend to use the funds to provide microwavable meals for students, water and snacks," Morris said.

Lee said she considers it her job to help and support students and make sure their basic needs are being met.

"We know that food sustainability is a huge problem in the community," she said. "We want students to perform academically at their best and we know it's important for them to have proper food and water."

Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training instructors David Scaramazzo and John Kieffer received a $2,000 grant for the second consecutive year.

"We use the funds for the program and pay for the Naval Ball, so they don't have to pay out of pocket," Scaramazzo said. "It pays for all their food, so they can have a good time."

He said the students are involved in the community throughout the year and the Naval Ball wraps up the year.

Keiffer said there are 125 students in the program.

"It's a wonderful program," he said. "We go to all the food drives in the community and provide the Color Guard for events."

Alan Alder, a chorus instructor, received a $2,000 grant for the second year.

"Last year we did a choreography project with the students and that turned out really well," he said. "It was very helpful to us."

Alder said the funds this year will support the A Town Showdown, a program that AHS used to have in the past and was brought back this year.

"This is extremely important and having that kind of support means so much to our students and our teachers, because it really shows the city of Anderson is behind what we do," he said.

Scott Shimer, principal at AHS, said the proceeds from the Mayor's Ball give school officials another source to meet needs.

"It's very positive for us," he said. "It benefits our kids a great deal."

Shimer said he encourages teachers to apply for grants, and the teachers are getting used to the process.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.