A local developer has pledged to give as much as $500,000 to the Chandler Education Foundation — which would be the largest single donation to the organization.
The foundation, which is the fundraising arm for the Chandler Unified School District, received the surprise announcement by the developer of Elevation Chandler at a Thursday groundbreaking.
Jeff Cline, chairman and president of Signature Properties West, pledged to give 5 percent of the profits of each condominium sale at Elevation Chandler — up to $500,000 — to the foundation.
"I wanted to help the community," said Cline, a member of the foundation’s board of directors. "That’s what we all should be doing."
The donation is the first "giant step" toward the endowment for the VISION: CollegeBound Scholarship Program. The new scholarship program asks all Chandler high school students to enroll and make a commitment to good grades, good attendance and 100 hours of community service to earn a $1,000 college scholarship, said Glenna McCollum-Cloud, director of the Chandler Education Foundation.
The foundation, which has been providing support for programs, teachers and students since 1986, took 11 years to make a cumulative $1 million, McCollum-Cloud said. "This tells you how exponential this one donation is going to make for us," she said.
Cline said he hopes other real estate developers will follow in his footsteps and adopt a nonprofit agency as part of their business plan.
Elevation Chandler will combine a conference hotel, fitness and social club, day spa, restaurants and condominiums on the southwest corner of Frye Road and Loop 101. The project is expected to be completed in 2008 and will include 129 condos.
Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn said it’s been a long existing practice in Chandler to encourage local employers, retail and businesses to give back to the community. "We expect our industry to give back to our community, and we’ve had very good success in doing that," he said.