Skip To Main Content





Menu Decorative Image













FWCS Foundation

The purpose of the FWCS Foundation is to generate and distribute financial resources to and for Fort Wayne Community Schools in support of the Mission and Vision of FWCS. The Mission of FWCS is to educate all students to high standards enabling them to become productive, responsible citizens. The Vision of FWCS is to be the school system of choice and a source of community pride. The core of the Foundation’s existence is its desire to see FWCS achieve and maintain academic excellence, striving to eliminate the achievement gap among all groups of students by maximizing the achievement of all.

 Contact Us


FWCS Foundation Mission:

To ensure FWCS has the funds, resources and relationships to provide enhanced educational opportunities for all students to become successful, productive citizens.


FWCS Foundation Vision:

For all FWCS students to have equity, access and excellence to empower them in becoming confident leaders.

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation generates and distributes financial resources to support FWCS in achieving its mission to educate all students to high standards enabling them to become productive, responsible citizens. It is legally separate from FWCS and is recognized by the IRS as exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Donations to the FWCS Foundation will be used to support educational programs, like b Instrumental, that are proving to be successful. The b Instrumental program provides musical instruments to middle and high school students. Donations may also be unrestricted to fund innovation in new programs or educational tools that have the potential to help FWCS achieve academic improvements.



FWCS Foundation Board Members:

Tom Trent, President

Sarah Strimmenos, Treasurer

Brian Bauer

Cheri Becker

Clifford Clarke

Rick Kinney

Dr. Scott Miller

Kathy Rogers

Dr. Mark Daniel, Ex-Officio


Director of Philanthropy:  Mitch Sheppard 

b Instrumental Program Manager:  Bruce Schneider



Thank You Major Sponsors:

     Chuck and Lisa Surack 

     Sweetwater Sound, Inc.

     The Auer Foundation

     Ambassador Enterprises

     The James Foundation

     White Lodging

     Tim and Libby Ash Foundation

     AWS Foundation

     English Bonter Mitchell Foundation

     Parkview Health

     ProFed Credit Union

     Wilson Foundation

     Yergens Rogers Foundation


“If I hadn’t started playing a music instrument, there would be no Sweetwater.”  

Chuck Surack, Founder and CEO of Sweetwater, graduate of Wayne High School

FWCS is making great progress in improving academic achievement and the Foundation Board works to ensure it is adequately funded to continue its success. Funds raised are used to invest in innovative programs that further increase academic results. The Foundation Board most recently raised funds for the "b Instrumental" program, which provides musical instruments to students in 7th through 12th grade and also provides small group instruction and summer music camps for students

The b Instrumental program was created to expand the number of students who have the opportunity to play a musical instrument. Research shows studying music benefits students’ cognitive and social development. The over 400 students now participating in the program have better attendance, higher test scores and fewer discipline issues than other students.

To learn more about this amazing program, please visit b Instrumental

Students playing instruments

Music—the gift that gives back.

Research shows that investments in music education provide students with measurable benefits:

  • Improved memory and well-being
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Increased math proficiency by grade 12
  • An average increase of 63 points in verbal & 44 points in math on SAT tests
  • Higher graduation rates


Access to music education helps unlock opportunities for all.


Support music education in Fort Wayne and say, “I’m with the Band!”


DONATE NOW Printable Donate Form