INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greenhouse School Beats Heating Woes

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2006 03:35 PM
the greenhouse school
patricia jennings-welch, executive director
145 loring avenue - salem, massachusetts 01970
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greenhouse School Beats Heating Woes
"It's a tough moment in the life of any organization," says Greenhouse School Director Dan Welch. "There's never enough money anyway, and then at some critical point, you have a major crisis." The crisis this time was the loss of one of the school's main furnaces heating the grades' classroom. "We did pretty well for most of November because of the weather," says Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde, Assistant Director and also Welch's wife. "But during that cold snap we had to close off the room and move to a warmer part of the building."
Fortunately for students at the small independent alternative school in Salem, this is the time of year when santa's reindeer are flying and miracles on Loring Avenue are not unheard of. Welch found a solution, as he says he occasionally has in the past, by reaching out to old college buddies. He is quick to point out, though, that it's almost always been about friendship and advice rather than money. "My wife likes to poke fun at how close we are after all these years-- spending hours on the phone when one of us is in a crisis--she calls us a bunch of hens. But I call them my Harvard Mafia." Friendships that are so tight and last so long are indeed rare, and this week Welch's luck rubbed off on his students.
All of the friends were classmates in the Harvard class of '86. "One of my old roommates, Rob Allen, who has been a particularly good friend of the school, moved back east this summer to attend the Kennedy School of Government." Welch says the move kick-started a renewed effort to reach out to old classmates, coinciding with the group's 20th reunion this year. The most recent gift is a sizeable anonymous donation from a family foundation on whose board another, unnamed classmate, serves. The classmate, who until now had not been active in supporting the school, was only too glad to help out.
"We're very lucky to have such a great group of Danny's friends on our side," says Nambalirwa-Lugudde. "There's a lawyer, a doctor, professor, businessman, and a rock star--it's a pretty impressive group." Naturally, it's about more than friendship. Alfred Guy, another of the school's charter "Harvard Mafia" friends, now heads the Writing Center at Yale. "Of course, one reason that we have supported the school for many years is that Danny is our roommate and we believe in him. But far more important is our belief in the school."
The big news this week is a sizeable anonymous donation from a family foundation on whose board another, unnamed, classmate, serves. The gift is almost enough by itself to cover the cost of the new furnace. The classmate, who until now had not been active in supporting the school, was only too glad to help out when contacted by Welch.
Welch thinks it's a good fit. "The foundation likes to support small, maverick organizations that meet an urgent social need. We try to fly light and run lean, so that any donation goes a long way. We're survivors--we do an incredible amount with a tiny budget--I have to think it's an attractive quality to donors," of which, he laments, there are never quite enough, despite this week's success. Smiling, he adds, "I hope some of them are listening."
Sincerely,
Daniel P. Welch, Administrative Director The Greenhouse School www.greenhouseschool.org - check it out The little school with a global reach Please consider giving to our
CONTACT: Dan Welch
EMAIL: wpdanny@netzero.com
WEBSITE: http://www.greenhouseschool.org

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