(Pictured above, L-R) Anthony Richards, Todd Short, Mitch Bierman, Beth Probst (Principal, Newton Community High School), Amy Tarr, June Bierman, Ed Kocher
Students and community members are sure to notice the brand new mats recently installed in the high school gymnasium. The mats were purchased with an $8,000 grant to Newton Community High School from the newly established Eagle for Life School Improvement Fund. The Eagle for Life Foundation was established early in 2017 by Mitch Bierman. Bierman established the nonprofit, tax-exempt education foundation as his Jasper CEO business during his senior year. Working in conjunction with Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, Bierman was able to begin fundraising for the mats during the Jasper CEO Tradeshow in April and the new mats were installed in late October.
The Eagle for Life Education Foundation is comprised the Eagle for Life School Improvement Fund and the Eagle for Life Endowment, which provides a permanent source of funding for future school improvements. The gym mat fundraising project is an example of the school improvement fund’s mission to meet immediate needs within the school district. School district representatives from all school facilities provide a “wish list” of school improvement projects to the Eagle for Life Fund Advisory Committee on an annual basis. The committee then selects a project and appeals to the community to raise the funds for the specific projects. Members of the fund advisory committee are Todd Short, June Bierman, Mitch Bierman, Lora Short, Ed Kocher, Kyle Klier, Anthony Richards, Amy Tarr and Alan Rauch.
As an NCHS student, Bierman saw a need and took it upon himself to paint the high school locker rooms. Then this summer, Bierman painted the trainer’s room at the high school. Bierman, a former Newton Eagle Football player, has taken his football skills to Hamilton College and although he is away from home at this time, Bierman is staying up-to-date with the funds he established. “It is very exciting to be able to make a positive impact in our schools! The gym mats are the first of many Eagle for Life projects,” states Bierman. “As Eagle for Life continues to make an impact, hopefully more and more people see the benefits in donating to the foundation. I’m excited to see what is next!”