Willard Children’s Charitable Foundation Celebrates Fall Harvest

A casual supper, tempting desserts, a large donation, a patriotic performance, and a moving presentation created all the ingredients for a successful 2010 Fall Harvest Festival for the Willard Children’s Charitable Foundation.

The WCCF held its annual festival Saturday evening at Willard High School where board members served up a hamburger and hot dog dinner to supporters and community members. Saving dessert for last with a live auction of tables full of donated cakes, pies, caramel apples and other treats, WCCF President Danette Proctor first accepted a check for $3,500 from Connie Gould, in memory of her husband, Bill, who died on Aug. 5. Well known and much admired, Bill Gould taught world history and civics at Willard High School for more than 25 years; he also coached boys’ basketball and boys’ baseball along with both boys’ and girls’ golf at various times.

The check was designated for Willard’s efforts to raise $20,000 for its educational endowment fund to receive a $10,000 match from the CFO’s Harry Cooper Supply Company Campaign for the Ozarks Phase II initiative. In appreciation for Mrs. Gould’s contribution, the WCCF has established a $1,000 William Gould Memorial Scholarship to be given annually.

After the Willard Intermediate Choir performed selections from its recent Veteran’s Day program, the group learned about the Transition House under construction next to the school. The ADA-accessible house of nearly 3,000 square feet will be used to teach life skills like cooking, laundry and budgeting to developmentally disabled students in the district. Teacher Steve Vaughn and the high school construction class are leading the effort, which is supported by numerous donations of supplies and other support from the community. This project received a $20,000 Coover place-based education grant from the CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership last spring through the Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation Regional Grantmaking Program.

In addition to a range of delicious desserts, the live auction also included donations of a wooden wishing well built by the construction class, a picnic table from Guy Morelock, and a tractor planter from Travis Duncan (its $130 winning bid will be used to buy pots and pans for the Transition House). Overall, the auction raised more than $3,000 to add to Willard’s Cooper Phase II effort.