The holidays came early for Oak View Elementary School students and staff. The Northwest Allen County elementary school received a surprise gift in the mail from Sandy Geisler, owner of Culver’s restaurants located at 3510 E. Dupont Road and 1425 W. Washington Center Road in Fort Wayne.
“We received a $500 check in the mail this week from Culver’s that we totally weren’t expecting,” said SuAnn Nichols, literacy interventionist for the school. “The check was designated to purchase new books to use in our school literacy programs. Having new books to use to help keep our students interested and engaged is so important, and this gift means the world to all of us that work with students on reading and literacy efforts. We know the kids appreciate this too.”
The surprise gift is not the first time that Geisler has provided support for the school’s literacy efforts. The restaurant has partnered with the school for a fundraising evening every April, hosting an Oak View “Butter Burgers for Books Night” at its Dupont Road location. Teachers and school staff would serve food to students and their families who attended the event. A percentage of Culver’s net sales from the evening would then be donated to the school to use for book purchases.
However, as with many things during 2020, the April fundraising evening did not take place because of quarantine issues. “We didn’t think we would be able to purchase any new books this year because the fundraiser didn’t happen,” said Nichols. “That’s what makes this generous gift so special. Sandy continued to look out for us, even during this difficult time for restaurants.”
In a letter to the school, Geisler noted, “2020 has been a difficult year for the restaurant industry due to COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been placed on all of us. That being said, though we could not hold our typical fundraisers with each of our partners, we do want to make a contribution that may help offset any loss of funds due to the pandemic.”
Oak View Principal Jamie Wilkins was also surprised by Culver’s donation to the school. “I was amazed by Culver’s kindness and generosity. I’m very thankful for the relationship that we have established over the years. Culver’s has always been super supportive of our literacy programs, and more than generous. I hope our Oak View families continue to provide their support for Culver’s during this difficult time.”