DCSF offers student-designed cards for Christmas season

This design, created by a DHS art student, is one of the options available.

This design, created by a DHS art student, is one of the options available.

Have a person on your Christmas list that is hard to shop for?  The Demopolis City Schools Foundation (DCSF) may have a perfect solution.

Make a donation to the Foundation in honor of a friend or loved one and that person will get a special Christmas card designed by Demopolis High School Art students letting them know about the gift.

“These are the perfect “gift” for the person who has everything, and it allows you to support a local nonprofit who keeps all the funds at work Demopolis,” said Amanda Barnes, Executive Director of the DCSF.

“We will be offering the Christmas cards up until December 20, but even after Christmas, the Foundation will continue to offer cards for other special occasions like birthdays.”

Appropriate donations are $15 or more and donors are able to pick from several designs to send.

For more information, contact the Demopolis City Schools Foundation at (334) 289-2226.

This design, created by a DHS art student, is one of the options available.

This design, created by a DHS art student, is one of the options available.

DCSF awards $35k in fall classroom grants to all Demopolis schools

DEMOPOLIS, Ala.—Every year, hundreds of private donors and businesses in West Alabama give to the Demopolis City Schools Foundation to invest in public education excellence. This year is no exception, and through those generous gifts and investments, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation has been able to award classroom grants totaling more than $1,100,000.

For fall 2016, the 33-member board of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation is excited to announce that $35,000 in classroom grants will be awarded. These grants will be put to immediate use at all schools in the Demopolis City School System – Westside Elementary, US Jones Elementary, Demopolis Middle School and Demopolis High School.

“Every year I am awed by the depth and breadth of classroom grant applications we receive,” said Sara Chandler Hallmark, board president. “Our teachers are invested in providing the best tools possible to educate our children and we are honored to assist them in their work.”

New this year, the Foundation will award a second set of grants in the spring of 2017.

“We have earmarked $25,000 in additional funds to meet the needs of teachers in the spring,” Hallmark said. “Our community has invested generously in the future of our students and the economic development of our area. We take very seriously our job to partner with our educators and school system leaders to ensure classroom needs are met year-round.”

2016 Fall Classroom Grant Recipients
Demopolis High School

$622 to Connie Boutwell for a buzzer system to start a scholar bowl team.

$2,000 to Cynthia Whitlock for the most current and/or most requested graphic novels, including both fiction and non-fiction, for the high school library.

$2,007 to Courtney Kerby for a teleprompter and Adobe Premier Pro software to provide students with professional quality products to prepare them for careers in broadcasting.

$2,020 to Brittany Dunson for equipment for physical education activities, including tennis, pickle ball, disc golf, and badminton.

$2,886 to Jody Tartt for materials and supplies to enhance instruction and student performance within the DHS Fine Arts curriculum.

$5,906 to Kim Browder for a set of 25 Chromebooks for the high school history department.

Demopolis Middle School

$500 to Susan Browder to support a middle school math team.

$3,000 to Ginger Godwin to purchase books and eBooks for the middle school library.
US Jones Elementary School.

$200 to Dana Hill to support the creation of a US Jones math team.

$495 to Dana Hill for chess sets for the gifted program.

$254 to Adrienne Etheridge for a set of six balance balls for students to use in the classroom.

$671 to Tanya Patterson for writing materials to be used daily in the classroom to produce effective 3rd grade writers.

$2,100 to Emily Windham for new books for the US Jones school library.

$6,100 to Amelia Mackey for materials to create a robotics and coding class for all students at US Jones Elementary.

Westside Elementary School

$2,613 to Mary Lilian Roberts for mini iPads and applications to enhance therapy sessions for speech/language students and improve their communication skills.

$508 to Gabrielle McVay for supplemental math and science materials for Kindergarten.

$1,179 to Sarah Chelsea Morgan for additional STEM kits to be used to teach science in 1st grade.

$1,191 to Lori Giles for library books to enhance the Westside reading curriculum.

For more information about how you can be a part of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, visit www.demopolis.org. Donate today!


Photo of the Day


Jeff McAfee, left, of Jackson Newell Paper presents a $1000 check to Kim Townsend, VP of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation’s Board of Directors. The gift goes to support the DCSF’s Membership Campaign. (Contributed Photo)

DCSF pancake dinner Feb. 16

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation (DCSF) annual pancake dinner will be held Feb. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Jack’s Family Restaurant of Demopolis. The proceeds from the dinner support the DCSF in its effort to award classroom grants to Demopolis City Schools’ teachers.

Carry out, drive-thru and eat-in will be available, and plates are $5 per plate.

A pancake eating contest will be held at 5:15 p.m. featuring members of the Demopolis High School football team.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the DCSF at (334) 289-2226, email dcsf@westal.net, or see any board member.

Letter to the Editor: Support local nonprofits in season of giving

This Thanksgiving, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation has much to be thankful for – another year of successful grants in the classrooms of Demopolis and the completion of our $1 Million “Hallelujah Goal” as a start to an Endowment Fund for perpetual funding.

None of this work would be possible without the support of our donors, large and small. I think it is critical to note that over 90% of the funding for our School Foundation comes from local individuals and businesses.

As we approach the Christmas season, I want to encourage all the citizens of the Demopolis area to support your local nonprofits first.  None of my fellow partners in charitable work in Demopolis have large staff or fancy advertising agencies to create elaborate mailings and TV advertisements. But locally, our nonprofits:

  • Feed the hungry at the Demopolis Food Pantry
  • Care for the elderly at Braxton Senior Day Care
  • Offer afterschool and summer resources at the Theo Ratliff Center
  • Provide learning resources for all ages at the Demopolis Public Library
  • Find homes for animals through the Bigbee Humane Society
  • Share and maintain our local history at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum, Marengo Historical Society, and Gaineswood Historic Site
  • Improve health care for our community through the Hospital Auxiliary
  • Create opportunities to experience a wide range of arts programs through the Canebrake Players and Two Rivers Arts Council
  • Provide scholarships for high school students through the Bargain Box
  • Ensure students are receiving the “extras” that make a good education great through the Demopolis City Schools Foundation

This list could go on and on, but all of this work is supported primarily at the local level and depends on our support of time, talent, and treasure to serve our fellow citizens. Whatever cause you are passionate about, there are ways to be involved right here on a local level.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday, a day where you may see a lot of social media posts asking for donations to charitable organizations. Before you send your check off to a national organization, or even one in Birmingham or Montgomery, consider your local nonprofits first and what Demopolis and West Alabama would be like without them.

In this season of giving, just as you need to shop local to support your neighborhood business owners, you need to give local to support charities who support your neighbors. With your continued support, we can truly live up to our name as a “City of The People.”


Amanda Barnes

Executive Director

Demopolis City Schools Foundation

City Schools Foundation reaches “hallelujah goal”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Shouts of “hallelujah” echoed through the room, and several damp eyes could be spotted as the Demopolis City Schools Foundation met the goal of $1 million in its Endowment Fund.

The announcement came at the 20th annual Donor Appreciation Celebration Thursday, a time when contributors to the Foundation and its projects are recognized.

The goal was reached thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Alabama Power Foundation announced by Mark Crews, vice president of the company’s Western Division. Earlier in the evening Peter Michael Reynolds, the DCSF Endowment Chair, said the fund had reached $982,000. Alabama Power’s contribution put it over the top.

The $1 million target had been set by the first DCSF president, the late Hugh Lloyd, who called it the “Hallelujah Goal.” Now that the mark has been reached, the Foundation can use interest on the earnings to expand the number of grants it awards each year, said Reynolds.

DCSF president Sarah Chandler Hallmark said the Foundation distributed $63,000 in grants during the 2014-2015 school year.

“We are the true stewards of your donations,” said Paul Miller, Grants Committee chairman, enabling teachers to “enhance educational experience.”

Singled out for special recognition for his support of the DCSF was John Cox Web IV. Diane Brooker, manager of the Alabama Power office in Demopolis, said Webb sat on the company board longer than any but the founder of the company and has seen it through difficult economic times, natural disasters and increasingly strict regulations.

“He has been doing all this while never forgetting Demopolis,” she said.

Brooker introduced a video prepared by the Alabama Power public relations office about the Foundation. It included scenes from classes using DCSF grant funds as well as interviews of current Foundation director Amanda Barnes, past directors, principals and teachers.

Prior to the recognition of major donors, Kim Townsend, DCSF vice president and Membership chairman, said more than $74,000 was raised in membership contributions during the year, the largest source of income for the Foundation.

Recognized at the Executive level of giving were Georgia-Pacific, Parr’s and WestRock. Patrons are Mark Abrams, Greene County Steam Plant, CEMEX, Jackson-Newell Foundation, Claud and Cindy Neilson, Louise Webb Reynolds, Robertson Banking Company, Rotary Club of Demopolis, State Farm Companies – Kris Mullins, Trustmark and John Cox Webb IV.

Those acknowledged for giving at the Partner level received a certificate with artwork by student Miles Knott, who received his own certificate and a small award. Partners were JD and Amanda Barnes, Thomas and Alice Boggs, Billy and Betsy Coplin, Demopolis Area Business Council, Luke and Sara Chandler Hallmark, Jere Levy, Marengo Insurance Agency, Dick and Jan McDonald, Kris and Donna Mullins, Frank and Lucette Osborne, Ronnie and Robin O’Neal, John and Mary Rutledge, Tony and Terri Speegle and Roger and Carolyn Willis.

The Foundation also recognized the named Endowments made during the year: Foster Farms; Amanda Barnes, given by John C. Webb III and Marie Suttle Webb Foundation; Peter Michael Reynolds III, given by the John C. Webb III and Marie Suttle Webb Foundation, and Kayte and Thomas Melton, given by Dan and Vickie Wilson.

Recognized for Endowment Support were J.R. Rivas, Bill and Catherine Meador, Joe and Martha Turner, Demopolis High and Demopolis Academy 1970s Reunion Group, Bill Horton and Judilyn Brooks, John and Nancy Northcutt, Angela Northcutt Hollifield and William and Katheryn Cunningham.

Before the program the large crowd at the Coplin Building got a glimpse of Dig-I-Tron, the latest robot built by the Demopolis Robotics Team, watched as the Demopolis Middle School broadcast students interviewed and filmed the proceedings and enjoyed food prepared by the Culinary Arts students at Demopolis High School.

State Farm Supports Schools Foundation with $1,000 Membership

20150408_092622April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week and Kris Mullins’ volunteer work paid off for the Demopolis City School Foundation. Because of his volunteer service on the Board of Directors for the Foundation and his work in the schools, State Farm made a $500 gift to the 2015 Membership Campaign. Kris matched this with a personal gift of his own, adding a total of $1,000 in support of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

“State Farm is happy to support our agents and employees with the great volunteer work they do in their communities.  We also support education, as we know our students are preparing for their futures, and we know our educators work hard each day to help our students reach their full potential.  Having agents and employees volunteer their time to their local educational systems is wonderful, and State Farm is happy to provide funds to support,” shared Emily Clark at State Farm.

These gifts were presented when Kris, and his son and business partner Michael Mullins, visited Tracy Stewart’s second grade class to see her Fall 2014 Classroom Grant in action. When asked why he supports the School Foundation Kris shared “We have one of the best school systems around, and we want to keep it that way.”

Demopolis City Schools Foundation opens membership drive

Gabrielle McVay engages her kindergarten class at Westside Elementary School with materials purchased with a Fall 2014 Classroom Grant from the Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

Gabrielle McVay engages her kindergarten class at Westside Elementary School with materials purchased with a Fall 2014 Classroom Grant from the Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

The 2014-2015 school year has been amazing for the Demopolis City Schools Foundation. This school year, the organization awarded $63,000 in grants to students and teachers in the Demopolis classrooms. At the end of September and again in January, the Foundation awarded grants that supported the extras that the schools need to provide an excellent education for every child in Demopolis, on par with any in the state. These grants included:

·      A state of the art 3-D printer at Demopolis High School ;

·      Professional grade broadcasting equipment at Demopolis Middle and High Schools;

·      Recorders to teach music to fourth graders at US Jones Elementary; and

·      Materials to help kindergartners at Westside Elementary improve their reading and writing skills.

All of this and more is only possible because of the generosity of local citizens – individuals and businesses who translate their passion for education into tangible financial support. This year, the Foundation’s goal is to raise $60,000 in memberships by June 30 to continue to fund innovative ideas from teachers and support their efforts to give our children a world-class education. “For as little as $30 you really can make a difference in the classrooms of Demopolis,” shares Kim Townsend, Chairman of the Membership Committee.

Demopolis citizens and businesses are encouraged to join over 100 individuals and businesses who are already members this year and show your support for our students with a membership in the Foundation. More information is available by calling the Foundation offices at 289-2226. You can make a gift online at the Foundation’s website – www.demopolis.org.

DCSF announces annual Pancake Fundraiser

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation Annual Pancake Dinner Fundraiser will take place at Jack’s Tuesday, March 24 from 5-6:30 p.m. The fundraiser will raise money for the Classroom Grants Program, a program through which the foundation is able to support creative ideas in the classroom.

“This year’s pancake dinner will kick off our 2015 Membership Drive that will hopefully raise $60,000,” said Demopolis City Schools Foundation Executive Director Amanda Barnes. “In a town of only 8,000 people, that’s something really special, and it’s all because of community involvement and support from local partners like Jack’s.”

As a result of last year’s fundraising efforts, the Foundation was able to award $62,000 in grants directly to the classrooms of the Demopolis Schools.  These grants covered a wide range of projects across all 4 Demopolis City Schools and included science equipment, tablet computers, a 3-D printer, books, and musical instruments.

After such an exciting year, Barnes expects the pancake dinner to be equally successful.

“Jack’s is a natural location for us to have our event because many of our school clubs already meet regularly at Jack’s. Having the event there is like having it in our own backyard, and we anticipate a big turnout,” Barnes said.

Jack’s will serve the pancakes between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant, located at 801 US Highway 80 West. Tickets are $5 and available in advance from any board member or by calling (334) 289-2226.


The Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Inc. is an independent nonprofit established in 1993 to encourage private charitable support of the Demopolis public school system. It is an active organization that provides the resources needed to effectively influence the success of all students in Demopolis City Schools. Governed by a 33-member Board of Directors, the Foundation has provided over $1,010,000 in classroom grants since its inception.

Jack’s Family Restaurants, Inc. was started in 1960 in Homewood, Ala. The restaurant specializes in burgers, crinkle-cut fries and hand-dipped shakes. Jack’s has more than 120 stores across the Southeast- with locations in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. Since 1960, many things have changed in our world, but one thing has remained the same: Jack’s is still serving up great food, with a smile.

Georgia-Pacific donates $10,000 to DCSF

GP 2015 Gift

Last week Georgia-Pacific presented the Demopolis City Schools Foundation with $10,000 to kick-off the 2015 Membership Campaign. The funds will be used to support the work of the Foundation, including the Classroom Grants Program, which provides $50,000 to classroom teachers through a competitive grant process each year.

Amanda Barnes, Executive Director of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Chuck Krecklow, Georgia-Pacific, Sarah Chandler Hallmark, Foundation Board President.