Jim Sigafoos, San Clemente

Based on the critical SC Times letters, I understand that some people find our banners unsightly. We do not wish to offend. However, we at SCEF feel that any possible aesthetic impact is more than offset by the services provided to San Clemente High School students.

I am president of the San Clemente Educational Foundation (SCEF), and the fence banners at SCHS are one of our major fundraising programs.

For those unfamiliar with SCEF, we are a group of community members, parents, teachers and administrators dedicated to supporting academics at SCHS. We are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and minimal overhead. SCEF provides multiple services at no cost to the students of SCHS, including after-school tutoring, supplemental counseling, college admissions assistance, special tutoring for struggling freshmen and support to reduce the cost of advanced class participation for families.

The income provided by the fence banner program is very important for the provision of our services. Approximately 25 percent of our annual fundraising comes from fence banners.

One hundred percent of the money that we raise goes to directly support the students at SCHS.

One critical letter questioned the “advertising value” of the banners. I believe our banner donors are far more interested in supporting academics than in advertising. In addition to paying the production cost, each business makes a substantial annual donation to SCEF. The banner acts as recognition for this support. When I am looking to purchase local goods or services, I always consider local businesses with a record of community support, whether to schools or other community organizations. I would ask the readers of the San Clemente Times to do the same.

We have rules about banner content and appearance. The banners may only be printed in the school colors, black and red, and may contain no objectionable or partisan content.

Placement of the banners is limited to block only the view of a chain-link fence and the parking lot.

For a full list of our activities in support of academics, or to donate, please visit www.schsef.org.

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