The Bernards Parents for Exceptional Children (PEC) presented a donation of $20,000 to the Bernards Board of Education on Monday night with one request — that the funds be used for used for something really needed by the school district's special services program.
The funds, based on the answer received from the district, will be used to purchase a van to transport special education students to vocational training and community-based instruction, according to the PEC. Officers from the parent group officially presented a check for $20,000 to the board at this week's board meeting.
The money was raised by the held this past June at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster.
When thanked by school officials for the donation, PEC co-president Sherry Nelson said, "We thank you for all the district does for our kids."
“We asked special services administration, what they needed most, and the van was at the top of their list,” said PEC co-president, Karen White.
“Coordinating the transportation of a growing number of students to various job training sites throughout the community is a complicated task," Nelson said. "PEC is happy to donate funds for a van to facilitate getting students to and from those job and skill training opportunities."
This year's was the third Precious Pearl gala held to benefit the district's special education program and PEC’s recreational and educational programs. In past years, the PEC has gifted the school district with $25,000 for a computerized, interactive reading program and $30,000 for a school van equipped to transport handicapped students, according to the PEC.
In addition to funding the purchase of the new van for Bernards students, last June’s gala proceeds are being used to create new programs in the arts for school-age students and to support PEC’s existing programs and initiatives, according to a news release from the PEC.
Bernards PEC is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for children with learning and developmental disabilities and their families, and provides recreational, educational, mentoring and community service programs in Bernards Township. The PEC strives to create an environment of understanding and acceptance for persons with disabilities within the community.