Cafaro Gift Boosts Struthers School Foundation

STRUTHERS, Ohio – Before presenting a $5,000 check to the Struthers School Foundation for Educational Excellence, retired Cafaro Co. President Anthony Cafaro Sr. urged Danny Thomas Jr., president of the foundation, to ask for more money next year.

Providing funds for educational opportunities is “an absolute no-brainer,” said Cafaro as he presented the check on behalf of the Cafaro Foundation. The family foundation has presented gifts to Niles, Howland, Brookfield and other area school districts as well as Youngstown State and Kent State universities.

The Struthers School Foundation supplements what its board of education provides students by making purchases outside the board budget or its purview, Thomas said. Instructors apply to the foundation for grants for nonperishable assets that can be used in subsequent school years.

In the past, the foundation has purchased e-reader devices, handheld calculators and even a 3-D printer, Thomas said.

“This is huge for us,” he said. “This is probably going to get us close to $15,000 in gifts this year.”

The foundation is “unique because it give the community a vehicle by which they can support the educational process,” Cafaro said.

Cafaro stressed his family and corporate ties in making the gift. He described himself as a “neighbor,” because he was born on Wilson Avenue and lived with his parents above the Ritz Bar. He also cited several old family friends from Struthers.

“In addition to that, years ago, in the early ‘60s, my father built the Struthers Plaza on Fifth Street,” he continued. “It’s still there – not occupied as much as we like to have it but it’s still there. It’s doing fine.”

He also praised Thomas for his persistence in pursuing the grant funds. “Quite frankly, he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Cafaro said. Thomas spoke “very eloquently” about school foundation’s works, he continued, and “convinced us in no uncertain terms this is a very worthwhile cause.”

Pictured: Danny Thomas, president of the Struthers School Foundation for Educational Excellence, accepts the check from Anthony Cafaro Sr.

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