In times of lean budgets, contributions from the business community are even more important for the Columbia County school system.
That was the message Thursday during the annual school business partners breakfast held at Brandon Wilde to recognize area businesses and individuals for their support of the school system.
Brandon Wilde was recognized for providing the breakfast and the venue, while other partners received plaques to mark their contributions.
“We are so fortunate to have businesses like you to stand behind us,” said Columbia County School Board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco.
Receiving this year’s highest honor was Augusta Coca-Cola, recognized with the Preston Blanchard Outstanding Partner in Education Award. The award is named for the late owner of Carter-Blanchard Office Supply and son of former longtime school superintendent John Pierce Blanchard.
“What you do is a really big deal,” Tony Wright, director of human resources for the school system, told the business partners.
This year, the partners have given more than $23,000 in cash and more than $70,000 in in-kind contributions to the system, Wright said, funding things such as teacher-recognition programs.