Colonies donates funds to Upland High School

Colonies donates funds to Upland High School

By Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer

UPLAND - Some of Upland High School's athletic and academic programs have been saved thanks to a donation from a local developer.

Rancho Cucamonga-based Colonies Partners LP and Diversified Pacific Development Group recently donated $25,000 to Upland High.

"We're going to be able to restore many of the cuts that we were looking at making into some of these co-curricular programs that we really value, but the classroom has to be first and looking at whatever is left and it's not much," Upland High Principal Ben Rich said.

Officials from Colonies-Pacific, which owns the Colonies Crossroads shopping center in northeast Upland, requested that half of their donation be used for athletic programs and the rest for academic programs.

"We made a huge cut in athletic program this year. Mainly, in the area of transportation for football and basketball," Rich said. "The kids have been out fundraising and doing their darndest to help backfill that. Half of this money will go to restore a good portion of that."

Upland resident Jim Sheridan said he approached developer Jeff Burum about the cuts being made to the athletic department. Burum is a co-managing partner of Colonies-Pacific.

"I had just approached Jeff because there was a need within the school district," said Sheridan, whose son was on the football team. "They have given to many organizations in the past. I know him and the partners to be extremely generous, and they came through and really didn't want any notoriety or anything. It was just a great gesture."

Academic programs that will benefit from the donation:

- The History Day program received $2,100. Every year, numerous Upland High students take part in the program at the county, state and national levels. Funding is needed to transport students to state and national competitions.

"We looked a few weeks ago to cutting that in half," Rich said.

- The Academic Decathlon program received $1,600. The money will go toward purchasing educational materials for students studying for the decathlon. The material can cost up to $750.

- Advisers for the Peer College program will receive $400. The funding will be used to print out materials for students that will help them make their college decisions.

"$25,000 sounds like a lot of money and it is for most people and it is for a school, but when you spell it out, the needs always exceed the available resources," Rich said. "We wanted to be careful how we gave money out and wanted to follow the desire of the contributor. That's really important to us because we value that relationship."

Upland High School recently received a $25,000 donation from a local development company. Upland High officials have determined how the donation will be divided.

- $12,500 for athletics, $1,000 reserved for girls tennis.

- $1,600 for the Academic Decathlon.

- $2,100 for the History Day competition.

- $1,200 for the mock trial competition.

- $1,500 for the science fair competition.

- $3,600 for the music department, including choir and band.

- $2,100 for peer unity programs.

- $400 for Peer College advisors.

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