North Shore Community donates $130K for HEPA air purifiers for the North Shore Schools
We are very pleased to announce that the Viking Foundation along with Lisa Cashman and many members of the North Shore community have successfully accomplished their goal to raise $130K for HEPA air purifiers for ALL learning spaces of the North Shore Schools in just 30 days. Lisa Cashman said, “Without the work of generations of parents that set up and maintained the Viking Foundation, the current tireless Viking Foundation's board of volunteers, a generous community that values our schools, and the contributions of fabulous local businesses, this fundraiser would not have been possible - let alone completed in a month. Many communities would love HEPA filters in their classrooms and could not do what we just did. We are incredibly fortunate and I am deeply grateful."
On September 30, 2020, The Viking Foundation in partnership with parents of the North Shore community and the North Shore School District kicked off the HEPA VIKING OUT fundraiser, a voluntary campaign to support the installation of portable HEPA air purifiers throughout the North Shore School District in order to enhance indoor air quality at our schools and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community. “We were amazed and overjoyed with the generosity of our community and sincerely thank all those who contributed,” said Ms. Maureen Denley, Co-President of the Viking Foundation. “The HEPA Viking Out campaign emphasized the strength of our district…we ultimately met our goal of raising $130K for the purchase of 255 portable HEPA units, ensuring HEPA filtration for every instructional space in the district. We are all advocates for enriching and improving the educational experience of our students in the North Shore School District and this campaign clearly revealed the extraordinary strength of our Viking community.”
The North Shore School District has devoted tremendous resources towards the safest equipment and systems available to protect our students, faculty, and staff against COVID-19. In doing so, millions of dollars have been allocated to unplanned pandemic related expenses including PPE (personal protection equipment), improvements to physical school buildings, and upgrades to the air filtration systems. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend the addition of portable HEPA units as a way to improve indoor air when combined with strategies that are currently being implemented at our schools including decreased population and time in classrooms, mask wearing, distancing, hand hygiene, and sanitizing surfaces. The district aims to upgrade the current HVAC systems to the highest MERV filtration capacity. The portable HEPA units are an effective and supplemental way of providing the additional room-level air purification that enhances the overall buildings filtration (that the District is currently investing in) to reduce the risk of viral contamination indoors. In the long term, they can also be utilized to reduce the risk of contagion and negative effects of other pollutants and irritants such as dust, pollen, chemicals, and mold.
Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo said, “Thank you to the entire North Shore community. I am so thrilled and proud of everyone involved in this phenomenal effort in just 30 days. Soon the HEPA air purifiers will be placed in all instructional spaces in the District. They are currently in production and we expect to receive them within the upcoming weeks. On behalf of the Board of Education, teachers, faculty, staff, and students of North Shore, we extend our thanks to The Viking Foundation and the entire community for your generosity and dedication to the health and wellness of our great Viking Nation.”
Dave Ludmar, President of the North Shore Board of Education stated, "The North Shore community is a deep reservoir of generosity, and the Viking Foundation serves as the well to bring that generosity to the surface. Led by Doug Wefer, Maureen Denley and a terrific board, the Foundation sprang into action and partnered with the dynamically dedicated Lisa Cashman in this all-volunteer effort to raise a huge amount of money in only 30 days. We are thankful to the parents, grandparents, individual teachers and their union, local businesses, members of the administration and school board trustees for rising to the challenge and building on the district's effort to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff in this uniquely challenging time. It is truly North Shore at its best."
Carol Smyth, Elementary STEAM Director said, “I am proud to work in a District which has designed and implemented thorough and thoughtfully-considered policies, procedures, and protocols for its reopening which foster the social, emotional, and physical well-being of each member of the community while supporting high quality teaching and learning. I am grateful to the Viking Foundation and dedicated parents who worked tirelessly and to the community members who gave generously to enhance the air quality of our instructional spaces with HEPA air purifiers in order to enhance safety and have a positive impact on learning.”
“I am a parent of a NSHS 9th grader and an AP Biology teacher of 22 years at North Shore,” said Maryalice Kelly. “I could not be prouder of our District. I am grateful for the Viking Foundation and all the generous donations from our community to help keep our children and staff safe.”
Greg Perles, President, North Shore Schools Federated Employees stated, “North Shore's active and retired teachers, secretaries and TAs are proud to donate to this outstanding campaign. Many of us live here. Many of our children go to school here. Most of us have been or will be part of North Shore for 30 or more years. With so much time, love, dedication and hard work devoted to our community, we embrace our civic obligation to invest in our schools and our students. We are delighted to help the Viking Foundation and thank the community for its generosity.”
The Viking Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization formed to support the students and schools of the North Shore School District. For more information about the Viking Foundation HEPA Out Fundraiser, please visit https://www.northshorevikingfoundation.org/HEPAvikingout or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/northshorevikingfoundation
Article and photo by Shelly Newman
Photo Caption 1:
Pictured in the front row (left to right) is Doug Wefer, VF Co-President, Lisa Cashman, North Shore resident, and Maureen Denley, VF Co-President
Pictured in the back row (left to right) is Peter Giarrizzo, Superintendent of Schools, Dave Ludmar President North Shore Board of Education, Rachael Bowen, VF Board Member, and Freddie Gumm, VF Board Member, who all helped raise over $130K in 30 days for HEPA air purifiers for all learning spaces in the North Shore School District.
Photo Caption 2:
Pictured (left to right) is Doug Wefer, VF Co-President, Lisa Cashman, North Shore resident, and Maureen Denley, VF Co-President