2018 Non-Profit Best Partner Award #2: University Club (Jefferson)

Each year for over a decade, the University Club managed by Bill Rothballer has provided a holiday pancake breakfast for Cochran Elementary. This event has become an integral part of the holidays for our school and our children look forward to it. As the students walk in they are greeted by a tree that is probably at least 10 feet tall, fully decorated. They proceed to a dining room where tables have been set with cloth napkins and silverware and plates of cookies in the center. Soon dishes of pancakes and sausages are brought out and served to each child and the aromas and voices of eager children waft around the room. As the children begin to finish they hear the distinctive sound of Santa coming down the hall. Each and every child gets to meet Santa and takes home a stuffed animal. This community support provides an experience for our children that many will never get when they leave our halls. Many have never been to a formal dining room, much less used a cloth napkin before this experience. Each child gets a lesson on proper behavior prior to visiting but seeing them put that into action is an awesome experience. Each year they move up a grade you can see their self-confidence growing when they sit down. When the children return to school they get time to write out thank you notes. The feelings expressed in these notes makes us aware of how much this really means to them. Our school has close ties with the University of Louisville. We have mentors that come regularly to work with our kids and there are even some education classes taught in our bldg. The pancake breakfast that Mr. Rothballer and his staff provides just deepens that tie. It helps the children see the University in action and takes some of the mystery away. The University Club deserves this award because of their tireless dedication to our school and providing a lifelong memory for our kids.