Sunshine Fund supports staff during life-changing events


Anna McCarthy

Special education teacher Suzanne Wood hands senior Ivy-Lynn Friday-Hansen a water at the boys basketball game on Dec. 2. The profits from the concession stand were used to help fund the Sunshine Fund. “I don’t know when or who started the Sunshine Fund. It has been here as long as I can remember,” Sunshine Committee Chair Dr. Jody Ziemann said.

Anna McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief

Recently, a group of staff members have been running the concession’s stand at sporting events. They have been raising money for the Sunshine Fund. 

“The Sunshine Fund was set up to support all staff members (not just teachers) in happy occasions (birth of a child, for example) as well as challenging/sad events (illnesses, hospitalizations, funerals, etc),” Sunshine Committee Chair Dr. Jody Ziemann said. “It also recognizes and provides gifts to staff leaving the district or retiring. In addition, the fund provides money for gifts for administration and the secretaries (Boss’s Day, Secretaries’ Day, Christmas, etc.). The idea is to be there for one another as part of the BHS family in celebration and support.”

There is a Sunshine Fund at all three schools; however, the accounts are kept separate. Retired middle school math teacher Dave Kramer recalled some of the items that the fund would go to for the middle school.

“The Sunshine Fund would send flowers for funerals. They give out small gifts for birthdays,” Kramer said. 

The Sunshine Fund receives money from multiple places, including teacher donations. 

“We receive money from the faculty lounge soda machine and all staff members are invited to donate, usually at the beginning of the year. This year several staff members have signed up to run the concession stand at the boys basketball and girls’ basketball games for several weeks.  We have also received donations from a couple of BHS clubs to keep this going,” Ziemann said.

Not every teacher has received something from the Sunshine Fund; however, teachers say that they still see the importance of supporting the fund. 

“Those who receive something are usually those who have a life-changing event such as a birth, marriage, death, hospitalization, etc. Since I’ve been here I have not. I do donate each year as I feel that having a club like this helps build camaraderie amongst the staff and lift spirits, especially during those more difficult times,” special education teacher Suzanne Wood said.