School district looks to "bridge the gap" in state aid this weekend

By Beau Ebenezer

August 22, 2013 Updated Aug 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM CDT

TREMONT, Ill. -- Several schools across the state are struggling this year with funding cuts.

While some schools wait for undetermined amounts of state aid to come in, Tremont School District 702 is taking a more "hands on" approach.

"We are tired of having the conversation start with the budget," said Tremont School District Superintendent, Jeff Hinman. "We want to get back to what is important and what we are here for. We are here to educate kids."

The state owes the school district $200,000 in general aid, but 702's faculty and students are trying to bridge that gap all on their own.

"It's bridging the gap between the state's downfall and the education system, so that is kind of how I came up with the idea of having the bridge between the apple for the education system and Illinois," said Tremont junior, Britney Kent.

Kent was chosen to create the logo for the district's fundraiser, that will be held all day Saturday at Tremont High School.

She is hoping "Bridge the Gap" will help young artists like herself because 30% of the money raised will go to different clubs and athletic teams in her district.

The other 70% will go towards providing Tremont Grade School with air conditioning for a comfortable learning environment.

"The only way they can keep cool is with the doors and windows open," said Tremont parent, Jo Ellen Lohnes. "Even with that, they are sweating to death. They come home soaking wet and the teachers are soaking wet. You can tell everyone is very uncomfortable."

The Tremont School district has already raised $25,000 from various cash donations over the last week.

They are hoping large support on Saturday will bring in $50,000 more. Activities start at 7 am at Tremont High School.

Hundreds of dollars in prizes will be raffled off along with a silent auction for a week-long trip to to Disney World.

A comedy show will be available for $15, and dinner for $10.

The event will wrap up around 9 pm.

Other donations can be made to any Tremont school district office during regular hours.