Nonprofit works to support Porter Ridge schools

by Eren Tataragasi

INDIAN TRAIL — While booster clubs have long been in place to help individual schools’ athletic teams, one group of parents saw the need for something more.

So in March, Friends of Pirates, a 501c3 nonprofit, was formed to help teachers and coaches in the Porter Ridge School Cluster – Porter Ridge Elementary, Middle and High Schools – provide more for their students.

“This group was really put together to work independent of any one organization and we’re really focused on supplying and providing items that will benefit the kids and the hardworking teachers and coaches that take care of our kids,” said Mike Vagnone, the friends’ executive director.

He said the money the group raises will be used to purchase supplies, sporting equipment, do facility upgrades and other things the school just doesn’t have money for in the budget.

“We really want to make sure we can help get the schools’ money to last and stretch as far as you can, so in some occasions the money can help take things off their plate, and the better your teams do, the more revenue that brings in that the school can also use,” Vagnone said.

He said that while he and the other parents really have focused on the athletics side of things, it does not mean they’re opposed to helping out in the classroom as well.

The Friends is run by an 11-member board of directors, all of which are volunteers.

“None of us benefit financially from this,” Vagnone said. “One-hundred percent of the proceeds are distributed out to the schools.”

And on Saturday, June 2, the Friends will host a community yard sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, 2301 Rocky River Road N., Monroe.
Everything from electronics and kitchen appliances to yard equipment, clothes and children’s items will be for sale.

To learn more about Friends of Pirates or to find out how you can help, contact Vagnone at 704-607-9003 or mike.vagnone@experis.com.

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