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By: Tami Stegmaier – Development Director, Irvine Public Schools Foundation

Dee Dee Bryant – Vice President Marketing, School Spirit Pays


The financial support Education Foundations provide to their district is real and creates influential impact.  The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) is a perfect example.  While IUSD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the nation, it also happens to be among the lowest funded, at 30% below the national average.  However, with the help of Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), IUSD has been able to overcome state funding shortfalls and propel their district to one of national recognition.  Based on the state’s latest Academic Performance Index, which measures achievement on a scale of 200 to 1,000, eight of the top 20 highest-scoring schools in the county are in the Irvine Unified School District.  This along, with other numerous accolades, proves that they are doing something right. 


But how are they able to do this despite their funding shortfall? “With a network of individual and corporate donors, Irvine Public Schools Foundation strongly supports our mission to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision,” said Terry Walker, Superintendent of Irvine Unified School District. “Not only does IPSF generate new revenue for our school, including funds that effectively increase educator-to-student rations, the foundation also facilitates a number of innovative programs.” 


Given the importance of IPSF’s support, their development team knows they have to deliver each and every year.  However, as each dollar gets harder to come by, the team realized how imperative it is to move from relying solely on individual contributors to a strategic focus on their business community.  Knowing that businesses need recognition for their donation and often times struggle to find the budget to give as much as they would like, IPSF decided to take two very creative steps. 


1.      Partnered with School Spirit Pays (a premier partner of NSFA): School Spirit Pays (SSP) is an educational fundraising company that has found an innovative and cost free way for businesses to generate thousands of dollars for your foundation at no additional cost to you, their consumers, or your foundation. A credit card processing company with a twist, SSP partners with businesses in your community to process their credit cards and then donates 25% of the proceeds back to your foundation in the name of the business.  The best part is that it costs the business nothing additional because every business that takes credit cards today is already paying for this service fee.  SSP simply matches these rates to the penny so they see no incremental cost, but start creating a monthly donation to support their local foundation.  “The program has been a great success so far and is only continuing to get stronger.  SSP has quickly become one of our esteemed Top 100 business supporters and a critical partner in our journey to grow our corporate donations” said Neda Eaton, CEO of IPSF. If you would like more information on how your foundation can partner with School Spirit Pays, please send an email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2.     Launched the IPSF Top 100 Businesses Supporting Education campaign:  The IPSF “Top 100 Businesses” campaign is a way to recognize and honor our corporate supporters.  Creating a marketing toolkit that allows businesses to promote that they are supporters of the local school district, IPSF is hoping the community will take notice and honor these businesses.  "We hope that parents in our community will patronize these businesses and let them know that their leadership is appreciated," said _Julie Tapp, IPSF’s Executive Vice President.  The program was launched this fall and has already had strong success.  With a recognition reception in October and another scheduled for early next year, the campaign has created a buzz and excitement within the business community. 


We are excited to expand these two initiatives in 2015 and are looking forward to the continued success of IPSF and the Irvine Unified School District. If you would like more information about Irvine Public Schools Foundation or our development programs, please contact Tami Stegmaier at 949-265-6402. 

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 Air-O Specialists of Texas keep their customers in the air with comprehensive aviation maintenance services.  And, every payment made at Air-O Specialists of Texas creates a donation to Melissa Schools through School Spirit Pays.  From major to minor repairs and alterations to annual inspections, field approvals and corrosion proofing, Air-O Specialists focus is to keep their customer‘s aircraft in top shape.  You can read more about their operations at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas at their web site: airotexas.net.

You can read more about the Melissa Education Foundation and their goals at their web site: melissaeducationfoundation.com.  Thanks to Air-O Specialists of Texas for supporting local schools with School Spirit Pays!

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Today, we want to thank Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes, CA for supporting Mammoth Schools NOW Education Fund by using School Spirit Pays.  You can learn more about the modern Critical Access hospital in Mammoth Lakes here at their web site: www.mammothhospital.com.

Mammoth Hospital is the Official Medical Provider for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams and is known for its orthopedic surgery and rehab programs.  And, each payment made by credit card at Mammoth Hospital contributes to a donation from School Spirit Pays for Mammoth Lakes NOW.  You can learn more about Mammoth Lakes NOW here at their web site: www.mammothschoolsnow.org/

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Friendswood Vision is one of our Texas merchants, offering eye care to the community in Friendswood.   Dr. Thu Tran is community-minded and School Spirit Pays gives her and her practice the opportunity to do that.  With each payment at Friendswood Vision made by credit card, School Spirit Pays makes a donation to the Friendswood ISD Education Foundation.

You can learn more about Friendswood Vision and Dr. Tran at their web site: www.friendswoodvision.com.  Dr. Tran is a Theraputic Optometrist and an Optometric Glaucoma Specialist.  She and her team at Friendswood Vision offer a full range of eye care services from annual comprehensive exams to treatment of eye diseases, injuries and infections. 

And, for more information on the Friendswood ISD Education Foundation, check out their goals and activities online at: http://www.fisdk12.net/community/foundation.

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Carmichael Business Technology, one of our California merchants, provides Information Technology consulting services in California and remote IT support across the country and abroad in Canada and Mexico.   And, with each payment made by credit card, a donation is made to Mammoth Lakes NOW, benefiting local Mammoth Lakes Schools.

Your business is only as efficient as your technology allows it to be.  CBT keeps its clients running with break/fix services related to viruses, malware and spam.   They offer IT consulting which helps clients make the best choices in technology and work flow.  And, they manage web sites and Office 365 migrations.  You can learn more about Carmichael Business Technologies here at their web site: www.mammothit.com.  And you can learn more about Mammoth Lakes NOW at their web site: www.mammothschoolsnow.org

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PacificPro Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Irvine and Laguna Hills, one of our California merchants, is a physical therapy practice that specializes in treating and preventing sports injury and orthopedic issues.  And, every payment made by credit card at PacificPro Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine creates a donation to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation from School Spirit Pays. Patients choose PacificPro Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine for the patient experience that goes with the excellent physical therapy.   You can learn more about PacificPro Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine at their web site: www.pacificpropt.com.

With one-to-one hands on care, Pacific Pro gives each patient one-on-one, hands-on care.  It makes sense that they support Irvine schools through School Spirit Pays because donations to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation make the same kind of impact, translating dollars into materials and services that impact kids and their individual experience in Irvine Schools.  You can learn more about the Irvine Public Schools Foundation at their web site: www.ipsf.net.

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Mackey Mechanical Services in Dickinson, Texas has been taking care of the area’s heating and air conditioning  mechanical services for more than 22 years.  This family-owned and family-operated business works with both commercial and residential customers and every transaction paid by credit card creates a donation for Dickinson Schools through School Spirit Pays.   You can learn more about their services, their excellent reputation with customers and even special offers at Mackey Mechanical Services’ web site: mackeymechanical.com.

And you can learn more about the goals and objectives of the Dickinson ISD Education Foundation at their web: dickinsonisdedufnd.clubwizard.com.

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We’d like to recognize DigiTech Dental Restorations, one of our merchants who work with dentists all over the United States providing high quality dental restorations.  Using digital technologies, DigiTech fabricates name brand crowns, restorations and implants with consistently reliable fit and aesthetics.  And, with every transaction processed by credit card, DigiTech Dental Restorations creates donations for Frank Eastwood Elementary PTA and Carl Harvey Elementary PTO through School Spirit Pays.

You can learn more about DigiTech Dental Restorations at their web site: digitechlab.com.  If you are a dentist, ordering, tracking and scheduling are easy with DigiTech.   And, when you sign on, you’ll receive a daily case summary by email so you know where all your restorations are in the production process. 

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Toomey’s Catering and Carry-out is one of our merchants in Mammoth Lakes, CA and is ready to serve breakfast, lunch or dinner every day of the week.   If you are ready for a World Famous Coconut Mascarpone Pancake to start the day, Toomey’s can fix you up.  And when you pay for it with a credit card, your purchase goes toward a donation to Mammoth Schools NOW Education Foundation via a donation made for Toomey’s by School Spirit Pays.  Check out the menu at Toomey’s at their web site: toomeyscatering.com.

You can also learn more about Mammoth Lakes NOW Education Fund at their web site: www.mammothschoolsnow.org.

Thanks for supporting local public schools, Toomey’s!

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 If you visit MediciFoundation.org you can see the organization‘s mission statement: To improve the health and quality of life in our community through medical, research, education and treatment.   Of course, we are very proud to have the Medici Foundation as one of our School Spirit Pays merchants.  Donations to the Medici Foundation go to benefit cancer research, wellness programs and more.  If those donations are made via credit card, it creates a donation from School Spirit Pays that benefits Irvine Public Schools.

You can read more about the Irvine Public Schools Foundation at their web site, ipsf.net.  And, we encourage you to get involved with the Medici Foundation to help support the excellent work they do.

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Today, we are recognizing Sunrise Learning Center, one of our merchants in Texas.   Sunrise Learning Center offers educational programs and services for Toddlers, 2-year olds, 3-year olds, Pre-K and even K-5 students who needs specialized services.   They are a great merchant for School Spirit Pays since they are already committed to the education and welfare of children.  You can learn more about Sunrise Learning Center at their web site sunriselc.net.

Every charge processed at Sunrise Learning Center creates a School Spirit Pays contribution to the McKinney Education Foundation.  You can learn more about the goals and objectives of the McKinney Education Foundation at www.mmeeff.com.

Thanks for your support, Sunrise Learning Center!

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Ready for some outdoor fun?  If you are in the Dallas area, check out one of our merchants, LaCore Power Sports in Melissa, Texas.  LaCore Power Sports has both new and pre-owned ATVs and Sports Utility vehicles, parts, service and a knowledgeable staff to help you  with purchase.

When customers make  payment by charge at LaCore Power Sports, a donation is made to the Melissa Education Foundation for each dollar spent.  Auto dealers are often some of the reliable local merchants using School Spirit Pays to help create a passive stream of funding for local schools. 

So, thanks to LaCore Power Sports and all the auto dealers out there using School Spirit Pays.  You can learn more about LaCore Power Sports at their web site: www.lacorepowersports.com. and you can learn more a bout the goals and objectives of the Melissa Education Foundation at their web site: melissaeducationfoundation.com.

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We’d like to recognize one of our merchants in Westland, Michigan, Dr. Bernard Hughey.  Dr. Hughey’s chiropractic clinic, Cherry Hill Chiropractic Clinic.   In practice since 1988, Dr. Hughey is a trusted healthcare provider in the Westland area.  Cherry Hill Chiropractic Clinic’s focus on creating a personalized, low anxiety chiropractic experience is one of the main reasons why Dr. Hughey is such a trusted name in the community. 

And, with each payment made by credit card at Cherry Hill Chiropractic Clinic, a donation is made in Dr. Hughey’s name to the Wayne-Westland through School Spirit Pays.  Using School Spirit Pays to process credit cards is an excellent way to create a passively donated stream of dollars for a local education foundation.  If you are a professional service in the Westland, MI area, we encourage you to follow Dr. Hughey’s lead and give School Spirit Pays a try.

You can learn more about Dr. Hughey and Cherry Hill Chiropractice Clinic at their web site: www.cherryhillchiropractic.com.

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A question we receive frequently from merchants is about how our service works with Foundations.  We donate 25% of our processing commissions to an educational foundation chosen by each merchant.  However, as in the case of the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation, we also can process the credit payments of the foundation itself.

When a foundation is also a merchant, they really maximizing the potential of School Spirit Pays.  By generating their own School Spirit Pays donation, the Lewisville ISD is helping to create their own passive income stream.  Plus, its the best possible endorsement when presenting School Spirit Pays to a potential local merchant is the fact that the foundation itself uses School Spirit Pays.

Thanks to the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation for doing it right!  You can learn more about the goals and objectives of this foundation here: lisdef.com.

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If you live in the Bishop, California area, you may recognize the name E. Joseph Duncan, DDS.  Dr. Duncan was born in Bishop, CA and has been practicing dentistry in the area for 30 years.  He is a graduate of Bishop High School and has been a member of the Bishop Union High School Board of Directors.  This makes it extra special that Dr. Duncan supports The Bishop Union High School Foundation as a School Spirit Pays merchant.

We think it is great when local dental and medical practices use School Spirit Pays because two thing everyone needs locally are quality healthcare and quality education.  We hope more doctors and dentists will follow a leader like Dr. Duncan.

To learn more about Dr. Duncan, visit his web site at ejosephduncandds.com and you can learn more about the Bishop Union High School Foundation at buhs-bishop-ca.schoolloop.com.

Thanks again, Dr. Duncan.

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Rock & Roll Mondays featuring Sushi & Karaoke sound good?  You can enjoy great island food and fun atmosphere and relaxed attitude in the Mammoth Lakes, California at Lakanuki.   And, while you are enjoying lunch, dinner or happy hour at Lakanuki, you’ll be happy to know your payment by credit card results in donation to Mammoth Lakes NOW from School Spirit Pays.

Visit Laknuki’s web site at www.lakanuki.net and you can see the menu, get in to a debate as to where the name came from, find out about group specials and see the busy event schedule at Lakaknuki.  Come on in for some island atmosphere to break up your week. 

Learn more about Mammoth Lakes Now at their web site: mammothschoolsnow.org.  In fact, today, on their front page, they feature School Spirit Pays merchants in the area including Lakanuki!.

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We’d like to recognize the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce in Deer Park, Texas for being a School Spirit Pays merchant.  What better way to set an example for businesses in the community on how to support local schools with School Spirit Pays?   By processing their charge transactions with School Spirit Pays, the Deer Park Chamber creates a donation for The Deer Park Education Foundation.  Any business, big or small can participate in a the program and when a chamber of commerce become a merchant, it’s a good way to tell all affiliated local businesses, “You can be doing this, too!”

You can learn more about Deer Park, Tourism in the area and the businesses in the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce at their web site: deerpark.org.  To learn more about the goals and objectives of the Deer Park Education Foundation, please visit their web site at http://www.dpisd.org/Page/84.  You will see plenty on how you can help, grants in action, up coming events and more.

And, Deer Park businesses, want to take a cue from the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce?  Ask them how smooth it has been working with School Spirit Pays.   We’d love to meet with you to discuss how to get your business involved.  It’s easy, painless and it costs you nothing.  School Spirit Pays makes the donation, not you, not your customers.  It‘s what we do.

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Today, we are recognizing one of our merchants in North Texas, Newberry Vision Center.  Voted #1 Optometrist and Eye Wear Center in McKinney, Texas by the McKinney Courier Gazette’s Reader‘s Choice Poll in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Newberry Vision Center and Dr. Eric Newberry, O.D. have been mainstays in McKinney health care since 2003.  Charge transactions made at Newberry Vision Center benefit the Melissa Education Foundation through a donation created by School Spirit Pays.

You can learn more about Newberry Vision Center and Dr. Newberry’s technological approach to optometry at their web site newberryvisioncenter.com.  For some details on the goals and objectives of The Melissa Education Foundation, visit their web site for details: melissaeducationfoundation.com.

Thanks, Dr. Newberry for choosing School Spirit Pays to help make a difference in Melissa schools.

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We‘d like to recognize Pacific Edge Dental Labs as a School Spirit Pays merchant.  Headquartered in San Diego, California, Pacific Edge Dental Labs produced dental restorations for dentists and dental labs around the country.  It‘s a business that requires expert training, high quality materials and meticulous quality control and Pacific Edge delivers as one of the recognized names in dental restorations.    You can learn more about Pacific Edge Dental Labs on their web site at: http://www.pacificedgelab.com.

Payments made by credit card at Pacific Edge Dental Labs create funds through School Spirit Pays that benefit Frank Eastwood Elementary School PTA and Carl Harvey Elementary PTO.  You can learn more about these schools, the parent’s organizations and their goals at their web sites: eastwoodschoolpta.org and www.sausd.us.

It is great when a business is able to create funds to directly support schools.  Thanks, Pacific Edge Dental Labs!

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We are happy to present Dr. Goar de Lamerens, M.D. and Associates in Internal Medicine, P.A., one of our merchants with offices in St. Augustine, Palatka and Palm Coast Florida.   Associates in Internal Medicine offers patients treatments for high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease as well as disease prevention.  And, Dr. de Lamerens is known for his comfortable bed side manner as he treats patients of all ages.

You can learn more about Associates in Internal Medicine at their web site: aiimpa.com.  Each transaction paid with credit cards at Associates in Internal Medicine creates a donation from School Spirit Pays to St. John’s County Education Foundation.  Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SJCEF/info

When medical practices support local schools through School Spirit Pays, it sends such an important message about reinvestment in the community.   Everyone needs medical care at some point, so in a way, the community reinvests in itself through doctors who participate in School Spirit Pays.  So, thanks for being a great example, Dr. de Lamerens!

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