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BOE accepts $13,000 from Nora Roberts Foundation for Boonsboro High School

January 19, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • In this Herald-Mail file photo, Patricia Gaffney, left, and Nora Roberts autograph their books at a book signing at Turn the Page Bookstore. The Nora Roberts Foundation is donating $13,000 to Boonsboro High School, with $8,000 going to the band to buy musical instruments and equipment, and $5,000 going to the drama department, school system officials said.
Herald-Mail file photo

HAGERSTOWN — The Nora Roberts Foundation is donating $13,000 to Boonsboro High School, with $8,000 going to the band to buy musical instruments and equipment, and $5,000 going to the drama department, school system officials said.

The Board of Education voted 7-0 Tuesday night to accept the donation. Several board members expressed gratitude for the foundation's donation as well as its past donations.

Donna Brightman said that during her 3 1/2 years as a board member, Roberts has made several donations to the school system. Roberts' foundation also provides an annual scholarship to a graduating Boonsboro High senior.

Roberts, of Keedysville, is a world-famous author of romance novels. Under the name J.D. Robb, she also writes the "In Death" series featuring futuristic cop Eve Dallas.

The primary focus of the Nora Roberts Foundation is to support literacy, according to the website, NoraRobertsFoundation.org. Other areas of focus are children's programs, arts organizations and humanitarian efforts, with priority given to local groups.

Drama teacher Michael J. Bair said the $5,000 donation might prompt him to choose a more elaborate production this school year. The high school will put on two productions this semester.

"We have no funding of any kind from the board. All the money in our program is earned through productions, the hard work the kids do," Bair said in a phone interview. "You pretty much, financially, go from show to show."

Bair said he didn't have anything specific in mind for the donation yet.

The antiquated lighting system needs improvement and he's been wanting to get a more reliable, hard-wired communications system for drama productions, he said.

Bair said he also teaches a cinematography/digital photography course that shares a budget with the drama program, so that class also could benefit from the donation.

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