[heading] by WYNNE LOVE | photos by Spark Photography [/heading]

These days, many school programs wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the volunteers who run their school’s Foundation. Parents recognize the importance of such organizations, but it’s the rare few who are willing to spearhead those efforts. Highland Ranch Elementary is lucky to have not just one but three such women: Andrea Burgan, Becca Barr, and Wendy Wolfe.

“Becca, Wendy, and I met three years ago while our boys were in kindergarten,” related Andrea. When they realized their school was one of the few without a Foundation, they resolved to change that. As Andrea put it, “If not us, then who?”

“Due to the budget cuts, we felt it was our responsibility as parents to take action and make sure that our children receive the best possible educational experience,” added Becca.

It was a significant undertaking; involving months spent researching, establishing the Foundation as a non-profit and a corporation, while creating by-laws and a mission statement. “We launched the newly-formed Foundation in the fall of the 2010-2011 school year,” explained Becca. “It was very well received and has become extremely successful!”

In two years, they’ve raised $68,000. “Those funds have allowed us to purchase all new PE equipment, supplement recess equipment, help support our music program, hire a science teacher, and purchase 36 brand new Dell computers for the student computer lab,” Andrea reported proudly.

This year, the Foundation will publish a cookbook of recipes from school families, conduct their third annual Spell-a-thon, and host an evening out with dancing and a silent auction in the spring. They hope to raise at least $20,000.

Now mothers to third-graders, these women haven’t stopped at running the Foundation. Andrea, now in her third term as Foundation President, also serves as Room Mom for her son Liam’s class and Team Mom for his soccer team. Becca, mother to Daniel and Aviva, is in her third year as Foundation Vice President, just completed her first half-ironman triathlon, volunteers at her synagogue, and helps run her daughter’s Daisy troop. Wendy, a runner and triathlete as well, is a paralegal and single mom to her son, Errol.

“I have such a sense of pride at what we’ve done,” shared Becca. “When I see the kids typing on the new computers, or playing with the new PE equipment we purchased, I think ‘WE did that.’ It makes all the hard work worth it.”

[tabs] [tab title=”At A Glance”]

Name: Wendy Westbrook Wolfe
Age: 45
Community: Bernardo Heights Chateau Bernardo
Occupation: Paralegal
Family: Single mom to son Errol (9)

Name: Becca Barr
Age: 42
Community: Carmel Mountain Ranch/Villagio
Occupation: Mom
Family: Married, two kids (8 and 6)

Name: Andrea Burgan
Age: 42
Community: Carmel Mountain Ranch
Occupation: Conservation Educator/Mom
Family: Married to Matt Burgan, son, Liam (8), stepson, Kevin (20)

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