San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Education Foundation members on Friday recognized top sponsors of an initiative to buy laptop computers for local students in need.

The donors included Justin Burk of Burk Properties, Texas Community Bank, The Khoury Group, including Ram Country, Hyundai of Del Rio and Toyota of Del Rio, Border Federal Credit Union, Schneider Electric, Brown and Brown Insurance, the Law Offices of Schulman, Lopez, Hoeffer & Adelstein and ERO Architects, all of whom committed at least $5,500 to the laptop initiative.

The recognition ceremony was hosted by Texas Community Bank and Sylvia Owens, executive vice president for the Texas Community Bank company and the regional president for the Texas Community Bank’s Del Rio branches.

Owens is also president of the SFDRCISD Education Foundation, the organization that initiated the laptop fundraising effort.

Other SFDRCISD Education Foundation board members present included restaurateur Eddie Amezcua Jr., attorney F. David Ortiz, George De León of Border Federal Credit Union, and Sandra T. Hernandez, SFDRCISD administrative director.

The SFDRCISD Education Foundation was founded in 2012 to “fund educational projects and activities not otherwise provided for by public monies,” Hernandez said.

“Foundation members raise funds annually to award scholarships to high school seniors and innovating teaching grants to teachers in the school district. Flagship fundraisers such as the ‘Dinner on the Creek’ and the ‘Adventure on the Creek’ race were cancelled this year in the interest of public health,” she added.

This year, “the SFDRCISD Education Foundation Board agreed that they needed to do something that would support students who currently don’t have the means to participate in virtual classes while schools are closed to in-person instruction,” Hernandez said.

San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Carlos Rios, who also attended the event, told the donors their dollars will go toward fulfilling an essential requirement for today’s students: technology.

“Whether the students choose to come back to the classroom or continue to learn from home, having a one-to-one laptop initiative is essential for the success of our students,” Rios said.

“So for those of you who have chosen to participate, we are entirely indebted as a school system, to the SFDRCISD Education Foundation and to all the donors, because a student, whether they choose to come to class or learn remotely from home, having a computer is essential,” the superintendent added.

Rios said he told a parent eight years ago when he became superintendent that having a learning device was “as essential as having a pencil was in our time.”

“That’s how big technology is these days, so thank you all for your donation. We’re not even halfway through the campaign, and we’re already very close to getting to our initial goal,” Rios said.

Owens also thanked the donors.

“On behalf of the SFDRCISD Education Foundation we want to thank each and every one of you that came out and gave of your time and your money, your generosity. It means the world to us,” Owens said.

“We took this project on, and we were excited to do it, and as Dr. Rios said, we’re very, very close to reaching our goal of $60,000. Not tallying everything, we are at about $56,000, so we’re very excited for that, and it would not be possible without you all. It takes times like this to understand and really appreciate the community that we live in and the people who come forward to help with projects like this,” she added.

Burk and the other donors said they were happy to help.

“I wanted to give back to the community and try to help out the kids trying to go to school in these crazy times,” Burk said.

Maria Martinez, Border Federal Credit Union chief executive officer, said BFCU is always ready to help the community.

For more information on the SFDRCISD Education Foundation Laptop Initiative Project, please call Hernandez at (830) 778 4073 or email her at sandrat.hernandez@sfdr-cisd.org.

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