Like most parents with children in public school, Menlo Park residents Pam and Joe Nootbaar were looking for ways to support their childrens’ education in a time of shrinking budgets. Working together with the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF), they found a way to use Pam’s family business to raise $25,000 for local schools.
Pam’s grandparents founded Kennolyn Camps in Soquel, near Santa Cruz, where Pam is now the General Manager. Kennolyn donated a Family Camp weekend that 25 Oak Knoll School families attended, who each donated $1,000. “This is a great partnership” said Pam. “Kennolyn has always been about kids and families having fun together in the outdoors. To combine that with fundraising for education is truly a win-win situation.”
The money raised from the Family Camp was part of the recent $3.35 million grant that the MPAEF made to the Menlo Park City School District. The grant will pay for 31 teachers and specialists at Oak Knoll, Laurel, Encinal, and Hillview this school year, in addition to other resources.
During the weekend, the 25 families enjoyed a wide range of camp activities at Kennolyn, including swimming, crafts, horseback riding, archery, ropes course, climbing wall, and volleyball. The weekend also included a campfire with families invited to perform skits and songs.
Kennolyn Camps was founded in 1946 and welcomes campers and staff from around the world to its 300 acre property in Santa Cruz. “The weekend was not only a way to raise money but it also allowed Oak Knoll families to get to know each other and strengthen the school community,” said Pam.