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Saying ‘thank you’ in person

Students surprise donor with gifts, personal visit

By TONY WITTKOWSKI

HP Staff Writer

STEVENSVILLE — Inside the door frame of Edward Todd’s house are a litany of “thank you” cards from students across the St. Joseph school district.

Earlier this week, Todd was able to add to his collection.

On Monday, six students and a handful of representatives from the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation surprised the Stevensville resident at his home with a few gifts of appreciation. Among them was a gift bag and an assortment of thank you cards.

“It’s an honor,” Todd said from his driveway. “I just want to thank everybody. It was quite nice of you.”

Sue Riemland, executive director for the SJPS Foundation, said the surprise visit came as a way to thank Todd for his generous donations to the district.

Through the Paul and Rose Suchovsky Memorial Trust, Todd endows six $5,000 scholarships on an annual basis for students graduating from St. Joseph High School who pursue a business degree. These scholarships are administered by the SJPS Foundation.

In addition, he has committed additional future funding to enhance the technology capability of the school, which includes the Edward J. Todd Innovation Center used for robotics competitions.

“With the pandemic, the foundation was unable to hold a couple events where we like to introduce our donors to students and thank them personally for their generosity,” Riemland said.

In the spring and fall, the district had to cancel its Night on the Upper Deck at Silver Beach Pizza, along with the Superintendent Circle Luncheon.

Donors who contribute more than $1,000 tend to get an invite.

To make up for these events, students and foundation administrators began delivering gift bags this past weekend. The foundation has more than 100 deliveries to make.

“We put together some gift bags and asked the student foundation to deliver them,” Riemland said. “Since Mr. Todd is a special donor, we

See SURPRISE, page A6

Sylvia Park, center, joins St. Joseph High School students as they present thank you cards to Edward Todd on Monday during a surprise visit to his Stevensville home.

Photos by Don Campbell / HP staff

Edward Todd receives several cards from students on Monday.


From page A1

wanted to bring several people.”

Todd, who graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1954, said he’s a big supporter of education. His donations stretch to other educational institutions, including Lake Michigan College.

Riemland said these donations go a long way for the district.

“We talk all the time about providing tools to our teachers and students,” she said. “It’s so important that we are able to do that, especially during the pandemic. We’re so fortunate we have community that supports us in this effort.”

The Student Foundation, whose members started dropping off the gift bags this weekend, is comprised of students selected through teacher recommendations. They take on projects and create projects of their own based on needs in the school.

Sylvia Park, a senior at the high school and president of the foundation, was among those in attendance for Todd’s surprise.

“I thought it would be a nice gesture,” she said. “It was great to do this.”

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski

Edward Todd thanks students for their cards and kindness.

Don Campbell / HP staff

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