Stauffer Foundation marks 20 years with free day at space center

DOWNEY - The Mary R. Stauffer Foundation is picking up the tab for any and all visitors to the Columbia Memorial Space Center this Sunday as the foundation celebrates 20 years of philanthropic activity that has given countless benefits to Downey's students (both public and private), teachers and the entire community.Yes, you read it right: everybody will be admitted free to the Columbia Memorial Space Center at 12400 Columbia Way this Sunday starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. The public will then have seven hours during which they can enjoy - at no charge - the many exciting exhibits and activities the center offers. A special feature will be a display in the lobby tracing the foundation's history and record of funded projects and programs in the past two decades, as well as a robotics demonstration by prize-winning Project Lead the Way robotics teams. Scheduled for 3 p.m. is a brief presentation emceed by Downey Mayor Roger Brossmer to honor foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mary Stauffer for her innumerable contributions to the life of the community. Sunday also happens to be her 95th birthday. Linda Kennedy, the foundation's chief financial officer and spokeswoman, has provided a recap of the vast array of activities and projects funded by the Mary Stauffer Foundation since its founding in 1992. The list includes community college grants for high school seniors; scholar-athlete awards; academic excellence awards for 4.0 juniors; scholarship college grants started for 6th and 7th grade students; matching scholarship grants for Delta Kappa Gamma and AAUW; California Lutheran college scholarships; YMCA scholarships for children to attend camp; funding for Gangs Out of Downey scholarships; grants to teachers with innovative projects; Principal Awards of $10,000; computer labs for all four middle schools; Cyberobics Lab for West Middle School and fitness facilities for Downey and Warren high schools; sound systems in classrooms for 4th and 5th grade classrooms in eight elementary schools and various middle school and high school rooms; emergency carts for Downey and Warren; Warren High culinary arts classroom equipment; pre-engineering program including equipment and teacher training at Downey, Warren and West Middle School; Downey High photography and journalism equipment for e-newspaper; Columbus High technology lab with equipment to produce a yearbook; funding for Character Counts and Pursuing Victory with Honor training for classroom teachers; Kids Day donations; trophies for Warren High cross country meet; student tickets for Downey Civic Light Opera and Downey Symphony; graphing calculator loan program for student in need at Warren; TLC counseling services for elementary schools; library books for elementary schools; technology to Gallatin Elementary; Downey High AP biology students to do research at Catalina Island USC Lab; provided opportunities for students to attend special programs, e.g., Sally Ride science camp at Cal Tech; Cal State Long Beach women-in-engineering field trip for middle school girls; all 5th grade students to attend training at Columbia Memorial Space Center with expansion for middle school students to attend in 2012; land traveling science programs for elementary and middle schools; and Gene Autry Museum - sponsored educations carts about frontier living. According to Kennedy, total estimated funding by the foundation of all the above projects (over 20 years) amounts to over $4 million; last year alone, the foundation spent more than $240,000 benefiting the community, she said. Dr. Stauffer said she hopes to see everybody Sunday.

********** Published: August 23, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 19