In honor of the pride and school spirit she instills across campus, the Belen Soto Elementary School community showered its beloved day custodian with a special gift of appreciation.
Lisa LaCasse has been requesting an ice machine since the new Goodyear school opened last year, and she was fully prepared to share the cost with others, but then her school family took action.
Preschool teacher Tara Cooke created a Facebook page and led the fundraising effort.
“Lisa mentioned getting an ice machine last year and talked about it with a few staff members. Time went on and after the school closed from COVID we didn’t get a chance to do anything,” Ms. Cooke said. “Over the summer, Lisa was still working on our campus to keep everything clean and safe. It’s been a hot summer and an ice machine is definitely something she could benefit from after being in the sun.”
Support for the fundraiser was substantial.
“The fundraiser started in the morning and by that evening, it had surpassed our goal by $300,” Ms. Cooke said. “I eventually had to tell people we had much more than we needed and donations were turned away!”
“We are grateful to our school family for honoring Lisa’s excellence,” Principal Courtney Frazier said.
The school family used LaCasse’s birthday as a fun excuse to celebrate their hard-working friend. Staff members wore masks and maintained physical distance when they gathered in the gym Sept. 9 to surprise Ms. LaCasse with the ice machine and several tokens of appreciation.
“While we didn’t start the fundraiser as a birthday gift, it worked out to surprise her,” Ms. Cooke explained, lauding the hard work that Ms. LaCasse does for others.
“She is meticulous, dedicated and certainly a person you want to have in your world!” Ms. Cooke said. “We really hope that Lisa realizes how important she is to us!”
Editor’s note: Brynna Benjamin is a journalism intern at Litchfield Elementary School District. She is a senior at Verrado High School and the former editor of the school newspaper.