SARASOTA, FL – Hershorin Schiff Community Day School recently received a gift of $500,000 from the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust. The funds – which were directed by the trustee, Richard Orenstein – will be used to create an endowment fund for scholarships and to support the building of the Offutt Art Studio as part of the school’s new facilities on The Larry & Mary Greenspon Family Campus for Jewish Life.
The capital funds for the Offutt Art Studio are being directed through The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, which is currently in the midst of a major fundraising campaign to redevelop its 32-acre campus on McIntosh Road. Community Day School will move to the Greenspon Campus for the 2021-2022 school year.
Daniel E. Offutt was a creative man who invested in stocks on Wall Street and was president of his own company, DEO Enterprises. Although he continued to dabble in stocks, he was in a position to retire early and pursue creative hobbies, including photography, woodworking, and welding sculptures made of iron. Orenstein was a friend of Offutt’s; when he was helping Offutt to write his will, Offutt asked him to be the executor of his estate and trustee of the Charitable Trust – most of which went to charity.
Orenstein learned of the work and mission of Community Day School through good friends Rita and Barry Mazer. Rita introduced Orenstein to Community Day leaders and arranged for him to tour the school. With Mazer and Orenstein’s mutual passion for educational scholarships, and Mazer’s suggestion to name the school’s new art studio, the groundwork for the major gift was laid.
Orenstein feels that Offutt would have approved heartily of the contribution benefiting Community Day School and the community at large. “Arts and education were big areas of focus for Dan,” he said. “And the inclusion of all faiths at the school is a very positive thing.”
Community Day School leaders are grateful for the major gift, particularly with the move to the new school facility looming.
“This gift from the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust will provide invaluable scholarship funding to help deserving students to benefit from a Community Day education and to provide a state-of-the-art studio in which students will learn and create,” said Head of School Dan Ceaser. “We are grateful to Rita Mazer and Richard Orenstein for helping to direct these funds for the school’s benefit and hope that the outcomes will serve as an appropriate tribute to Daniel Offutt’s memory.”
For more about Community Day School, go to CommunityDay.org or call 941-552-2770.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit the website at communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.