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Despite Closing, Trumbull Parents Raise At Least $5K For Summer Program

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Andersonville Chamber of Commerce

ANDERSONVILLE — A group of parents, teachers and community members in Andersonville raised thousands of dollars this past weekend at Midsommarfest that supporters of Lyman Trumbull School want to use for a summer reading program for students — even though the school is closing.

About 50 volunteers worked in beer tents from Friday through Sunday at the three-day festival on behalf of Friends of Trumbull, according to Jason Cox, assistant director of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

Friends of Trumbull was promised a portion of proceeds from beer sales that was "probably going to be somewhere between $5,000-$6,000," according to Cox's "best guess." The final numbers weren't in yet, but Friends of Trumbull announced in a Facebook post last weekend that the money would be used for a summer reading program for students leaving the closing school.

Details are still being finalized about the program.

Cox praised the group for its commitment to serving children despite Trumbull’s circumstances.

“They’re still totally on board with helping out, they really want to be involved — and they’re not giving up on what they’ve been working toward,” Cox said.

The Board of Education in May voted to close Trumbull.

Soon after the vote, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce reached out to Trumbull Local School Council members who also run the pro-Trumbull group, Friends of Trumbull, about fundraising opportunities at Midsommarfest.

Sarah Lopez, a parent at Trumbull and LSC member who volunteered last weekend, said that the chamber "wanted to give Trumbull some more love before we closed down."

"Right now we're just trying to do as much as we can for the kids, that's what our main focus is on the local school council," Lopez said.

The funds raised from Midsommarfest are still held by the chamber of commerce. The LSC members will function as a committee working with the chamber to decide how to use the funds, Cox said.

But the LSC at Trumbull is also sitting on almost $120,000 raised for students. Last week, they voted to provide students transitioning to welcoming schools with "success packs" consisting of a bookbag, school supplies and an iPad or e-Reader.

Lopez said the LSC wanted to spend the money in its account before the year ended and feared the funds would otherwise be given to the Board of Education if unused.

Last week, Trumbull LSC Chairman James Morgan said it "infuriates," him that the funds "could go elsewhere."

"My son sold candy bars for hours. This is our money," said Morgan, who has two kids at the school.

The "success pack," plan is contingent on CPS approval and hasn't gotten the green light just yet. A CPS spokeswoman was not immediately reachable for comment.