Cliffs Residents Outreach - Vineyards
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What started out as a normal school year, certainly hasn't ended that way.  
Click 2019-2020 CRO Annual Report for a summary of how CRO supported Pickens County school children this year.
Due to ongoing Covid 19-Concerns, this years fundraising event has been modified.  Play-It-Forward has been postponed to 2021.
Please join us for a special One-Night-Only HOPE LIGHTS Luminary Display
See Details for our Phatom Phundraiser and Hope Light Display below
CRO is a 501(c)3 supported by
Cliffs property owners, residents and Corporate Partners
CRO-V is a 100% Volunteer Organization Focused on Literacy, Health, Wellness and Mentoring for Kids in Pickens County in SC. 
Thank You Angels!
Thank you to the 23 angels that volunteered to provide clothing and a toy for children from families who needed a little extra help.  
Thank you to the following for being generous with both their hearts and resources:
To the organizers and leaders:
    Toni Daup
    Louise Spheeris
The Choir of Angels:
Brenda Schultz     Sally Sargent     Cathleen Deburton
Natalie Putman     Linda McGimpsey     LeAnn Ferry
Darlene Keelor     Kristie Lilienthal     Jo Fernandez
Mandy Merchant     Stephanie Cookson     Louise Spheeris
Jan Heppe     Wendy Giblin     Mary Whitaker
Rose-Mary Nenno     Sandra Krug     Shannon Tugwell
Janet Benton     Christy Wistar     Kathy Gostanian
Jeanette McCarthy   Paula Nesbitt
Thanks for being generous with your heart and your resources!
Once a year - and only once a year - CRO-Vineyards reaches out to its community for funds to support the education and wellness needs of Pickens County students.
This year's Giving-Back-2-Schools month was one for the record books!  The campaign kicked off with the collection of $1,500 of school supplies which were delivered to Pickens and Hagood Elementary Schools on August 13.  The campaign wrapped up with our grand finale Giving-Back-2-Schools Night dinner and live/silent auctions.  Thanks to our many donors and corporate partners, a record $93,000+ was raised! 
We announced at the dinner that this year's generous donations has made possible a $50,000 inaugural gift toward the acquisition of a Pickens County Bookmobile.  Long a dream of the Pickens County Library System, the wheels have been set in motion for the ROY Bus (Reach Our Youth)!  The PCLS can use our inaugural gift to help secure additional grants with the goal of launching the ROY Bus by next summer.  In a county with significant literacy and access issues, a bookmobile is much more than just "books-on-wheels".  We expect the ROY Bus to deliver a wide variety of literacy programs to children across Pickens County.
In addition, CRO will continue to support the education and health & wellness needs of the students at Pickens and Hagood Elementary Schools.  These two elementary schools serve over 1,000 students in Pickens County.  They are both Title I schools as approximately 70% of their students are eligible for federal poverty benefits.  CRO helps provide field trip scholarships, summer academic camp scholarships, funding for after-school programs and clubs, parents-as-learners events, as well as health supplies for students and funds for family emergencies.  The 2019-2020 Budget was approved unanimously by the CRO Council and can be accessed on the right under CRO Advisory Council Documents and Minutes.
 So much is possible....but it is only possible with YOU!
Thank You For Your Support!
Tools for Schools Program July24th, 2019 to June 2nd, 2020
Use The Ingles Advantage™ Card and help our local schools. When you make purchases using The Ingles Advantage™ Card, Ingles will give back to the school a portion of those sales. The portion can be used by the school to purchase computers and school supplies.
Click HERE to link your card, ideally to one of the two elementary schools CRO Vineyards supports:  Pickens Elementary (#11460) or Hagood Elementary (#11459).
Over the past 20 years, Ingles Markets has contributed over 15 million dollars to schools in towns where Ingles stores are located. These dollars have been used for valuable learning tools and equipment. Public schools, private schools and home school associations are welcome to participate in this program, grades K-12. Ingles and our Tools for School program are committed to helping thousands of schools and students achieve their education goals.
The annual reporting period for CRO Vineyards is reaching a close (August 1 to July 31).   Read the CRO-V 2018-19 Annual Report HERE.    Thank you to all our volunteers and donors for another productive year!
Preschool Pages - Early Literacy for Pickens County Pre-Schoolers
a United Way of Pickens Program
CRO is considering involvement with this new program.  The initiative was started about a year ago by the Women United group of Pickens County United Way.  This program is an initiative supporting the development of early literacy skills in infants, toddlers and preschoolers living in the Upstate of Pickens County, SC.  It is a partnership with the School District of Pickens County (SPDC) and three of their elementary schools:  Central, Chastain Road and McKissick.  Women United provide books, materials and volunteer time to support the school's early literacy programs.
If you would like to volunteer and see this program in action, please reach out to Jean Ann Bollman.   She can provide you with the dates and locations. 
Angel Tree - Thank You!
Update 12/13  Linda McGimpsey and Toni Daup delivered the gifts from our generous donors to the schools today!  Your response was heartwarming! We actually had more donors volunteer than we had children to provide for.  In  total, 26 children were provided with clothing items and a toy.  Profiles of the children were provided by the schools to help the donors with their specific needs and wishes.  In some cases, multiple children from the same household were provided for.  
We would like to thank the following individuals for volunteering as donors:   Sally Sargeant, Carol Frese, Char Burgner, Louise Spheeris, Shannon Tugwell, Kris Lilienthal, Maxine Botti, Lynn Kasper, Linda Lett, Sandy Krug, Wendy Giblin, Linda Govreau, Bonnie Saxton, Christy Wistar, Jan Heppe, Janet Benton, Kathy Gostanian, Don Buckley, Mary Whitaker, Vicki Hansen, Natalie Putman,  Barbara Washington, Darlene Keelor, Jeanette McCarthy, Stephanie Cookson 
Christmas Tree Donation, Hagood Elementary
November 27th:
Thank you to Debbie and Tim Leperowski for donating a Christmas Tree and all the trimmings!  
Hagood students were very excited to receive and decorate it.  Pictured are 3rd graders, Bryce and Sam, who worked with CRO Volunteer, Ann Ackley, to decorate it. 
Picture from Sept. 7th
Giving-Back-2-Schools Night
Donna Harden, Pickens Elementary Principal
Shannon Lawton, Pickens Elementary Asst. Principal
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  The generous Cliffs Vineyards community and corporate sponsors contributed a stunning $60,500 - $58,000 in donations and an additional $2,500 in school supplies to assist the Pickens and Hagood Elementary students and families with education and human services needs for the 2018-2019 school year.
Special thanks to our corporate sponsors, who provided gifts of money or auction items:   The Cliffs, Fairview Builders, Justin Winters Sotheby Real Estate (and auctioneer extraordinaire!), Kroeger Marine, Luxury Lake Living Real Estate (and sponsors of the yummy dessert!), Meritus Signature Homes, Retracta Screen, Singleton Marina, Southern Outlaw Adventures, Steve White Audi, Villa Verona Interior Design ... and many, many individual auction item donors.   Without you, we couldn't have achieved even half of our overall fund raising total.   Thank you!
On September 27, 2018, the CRO Council met and approved the following budget for 2018-2019:
1.  $36,435   School Allocation
Working with the principals of Pickens and Hagood Elementary Schools, funds were allocated equitably on a per-student basis using 2018-2019 school enrollment figures.  This is the first year Hagood Elementary School has been fully supported in addition to Pickens Elementary School.   Funding will be disbursed through out the school year as the principals request it, in the following categories:
a) Parents As Learners Program
b) Summer Academy Scholarships
c) Robotics / Stem Clubs
d) Field Trip Scholarships
e) Health and Wellness Needs
f) Emergency Fund for Families
2.  $15,000 New Initiatives
Funds were allocated for new initiatives, which are intended to help seed/start or fulfill on a one-time basis a new educational program.  The council is researching possible initiatives.
3.  $9,750  Reserve Fund
The CRO Council agreed to establish and maintain a reserve fund to buffer future years in a poor economy when fund raising may not be sufficient;  or to assist in a catastrophic emergency situation.
More details can be found under CRO Advisory Council Documents and Minutes on the right.
Picture Day Pickens Elementary
September 12,  2018
Lori Durham, Pickens Elementary Instructional Coach, works with CRO Volunteer, Dick Bollman, to take student pictures.   Pickens Elementary takes their own school pictures in lieu of hiring a school photography company.  This is one of many ways they work to make an annual tradition affordable for their students & families.  CRO volunteers (Bob Giblin, Mary Whitaker, Jean Ann Bollman, Dick Bollman and Paula Nesbitt) provided assistance for all three photograpy days. 
School Supply Drive
August 2018
Thank You, Vineyards Community!!
CRO Volunteers, Mary Whitaker and Stephanie Cookson, deliver two SUV's full of school supplies for Pickens Elementary and Hagood Elementary Schools.
Thanks to the generosity of the Vineyards Community, $2,500 of school supplies were donated to the schools.  During Parent's Night, which is before school starts, parents who cannot afford to purchase school supplies are provided an opportunity to "shop" for their child so every child can arrive on the first-day-of-school with a backpack and supplies.
Cliffs Residents Outreach is a 100% volunteer organization focused on literacy, nutrition and mentoring for elementary age children in Pickens County, SC.  CRO-V supports Pickens Elementary School and Hagood Elementary School, which are located in the town of Pickens, SC.  With more than 70% of the students in these two schools living below the poverty line, CRO-V endeavors to provide support that parents, families and grandparents cannot.
Since 2007, The Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO), a 501(c)3, nonprofit corporation, has been committed to the mission of “Providing resources to regional children that promote opportunities for lifelong success.”  While we support a wide variety of student programs, our focus centers on funding initiatives that relate to education and human services.  Below the contacts you can read more about the demographics and programs CRO-V supports at Pickens and Hagood Elementary Schools.
Volunteers are always welcome to join the CRO-V Council.  At various points during the school year, there will be opportunities for volunteers ranging from test proctoring, to mentoring, to fund raising, to other programs that assist the schools.
Group Leaders:
Co-Director Dick Bollman 203-981-8646
Co-Director Jean Ann Bollman 203-981-8454
Ann Ackley 864-525-3066
Mary Steele 864-868-2544
Mary Whitaker 412-973-2762
Stephanie Cookson 404-644-0897
Corporate Partners & Sponsors
Laurelle Williams 318-372-4755
Member-at-Large Penny Barr 562-477-0759 (text only please)
Member-at-Large Jan Heppe 908-492-1920
Member-at-Large Paula Nesbitt 240-731-3369
During the summer, CRO-V works with the principals of Pickens Elementary School (PES) and Hagood Elementary School to identify areas of need before the beginning of school.  Because more than 70% of the students live below the poverty line, the needs are extensive.   Here is a little background on the two elementary schools:
Pickens Elementary School:
  • 556 students in Pre-K through 5th Grade
  • 70% living below the poverty line
  • 25:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
  • 16.2% of students have a disability
  • 7.7% of students are in gifted and talented programs
Hagood Elementary School:
  • 485 students in Pre-K through 5th Grade
  • 75% of the students living below the poverty line
  • 20:1 Student-Teacher Ratio 
  • 6.5% of students are in gifted and talented programs
The requested initiatives are then prioritized by the elementary school principals and the CRO-V leadership council. Prioritized programs are then funded as the annual fundraising budget permits. Programs address two main categories:
Human Services:
  • Student & family crisis situations
  • Healthy snacks during testing situations
  • Food vouchers for families in need
  • Emergency nurse and student/family shoes & clothing needs
  • School hygiene and lice kits
  • Eye glasses, hearing aids, uncovered dental & dr. appointments
  • Christmas Angel Tree program
Education Services:
  • Back to School Supplies
  • Parents As Learners (PALS) Program
  • Tutoring and mentoring services
  • Standardized Test Proctoring
  • Technology initiatives-tablets and Chromebooks
  • Professional development for teachers
  • Field trips for students whose families are unable to fund
  • Before and after school enrichment programs
  • Summer school enrichment programs
  • Facility improvements that address classroom and community needs
Automatically donate your Ingles Advantage Card points to Pickens or Hagood Elementary Schools.
Online Donations are accepted via the website above
OR by mail to:
PO Box 93
Sunset, SC 29685-0093
CRO Advisory Council - Volunteers
If you would be interested in joining the CRO Council, please contact Jean Ann Bollman at
CRO Advisory Council Documents & Minutes