HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Community Foundation today announced that Marsha Slane and her daughters, Landon and Heath, committed $1 million to support bringing the Say Yes to Education initiative to Guilford County. Marsha and her husband, Jack, who died in 2014, have been longtime supporters of education and have specifically played a key role in the Early Childhood Intervention Program run by the United Way of Greater High Point. The Slane family has been tireless advocates for quality daycare for economically challenged children.

guilfordsaysyes web logo“My daughters and I are honored to make this gift to Say Yes to Education in honor of our beloved husband and father, Jack Slane,” stated Marsha Slane. “Jack truly loved and believed in High Point and he had a special interest in providing educational opportunities for children and families who struggle economically.  We feel that Say Yes will perfectly align with our long-term commitment to early childhood intervention and change our community forever.”

The pledge, which illustrates the widespread support for this initiative in High Point, comes from a family who has long been known for their generosity to the community through their involvement with the United Way of Greater High Point, the High Point Regional Health Center, High Point University, Family Service of the Piedmont and the High Point Community Foundation.  They have been recognized as both Citizens of the Year through the High Point Enterprise and the Philanthropist of the Year through the High Point Community Foundation. The Slanes have also been key advocates and leaders in the High Point business community through their family business, Slane Hosiery. 

“Marsha and Jack have always been avid supporters and cheerleaders for High Point,” noted Ann Busby, community leader and Say Yes volunteer. “The impact the Slane family has had upon children and families in High Point over the years has been immense.  We are so proud and grateful for their support of Say Yes.”

All pledges are contingent on Say Yes to Education officially selecting Guilford County as the nation’s next Say Yes community. In January, Say Yes notified Guilford that it is the leading candidate for this designation. To be officially selected, Guilford County must achieve several remaining goals – one being fundraising. Say Yes intends to make a decision by this fall.

“We are so grateful and pleased to have the Slane family supporting the Say Yes initiative,” shared David Miller, Vice Chairman, HPCF and Say Yes planning committee member. “I continue to be excited and proud of the incredible support the High Point community is giving to this groundbreaking initiative.  Marsha and Jack have always been leaders with vision and I know this generous gift will inspire others to follow suit.”

Since early 2014, when area leaders began exploring a potential partnership between Say Yes and Guilford County, everyone has stressed that not only would Say Yes serve all children and families in county public schools, but that the effort to secure the opportunity would be a community-wide endeavor, as well.

In early 2014, Guilford County Schools and the Guilford Education Alliance – with the support and assistance of The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the High Point Community Foundation – launched an exploration of a potential partnership with Say Yes to Education.

Founded in 1987, Say Yes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that organizes and galvanizes communities around the goal of every student in the public school system graduating high school, and then helps those students access, afford and complete a college or other post-secondary education. A key component of a Say Yes partnership focuses on how a community addresses the social, emotional and financial barriers that prevent students from achieving this goal.

“We have always considered it a privilege and honor to work with Marsha and Jack here at the High Point Community Foundation,” noted Paul Lessard, president, HPCF. “Over the years they have consistently sought to support projects that make a significant difference in the lives of others and this gift to Say Yes will absolutely impact lives of our local students for generations to come.”

People can follow Guilford’s Say Yes efforts at GuilfordSaysYes.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/Guilford-says-yes.

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About High Point Community Foundation

The High Point Community Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening the community for both present and future generations.