Phyllis Siskel offered a donor match of $25,000, but when students and staff raised $41,000, she raised her limit.
When students at Sarasota Military Academy received the opportunity to receive $50,000 for the school, they sprang into action.
In December of 2019, Phyllis Siskel, a longtime donor of SMA, announced plans to match contributions up to $25,000 to the Academy's annual fund, which helps the school invest in programs, facilities and technology, among other things.
The students and staff began fundraising through social media and email campaigns. In the the end, the students raised $41,000 — $16,000 more than Siskel's match number.
However, when Siskel heard so much money had been raised for the school, she decided to match the $41,000 raised, bringing the total donations to $82,000.
“Being involved with Sarasota Military Academy has been an incredible blessing, and I’m proud of the impact this Academy has in our community,” Siskel said in a statement. “It is so important that we give back to organizations we believe in. Whether it is time or money, find a cause that you believe is worth supporting and do your best to help them succeed.”
Throughout her involvement with SMA, Siskel has donated both time and money to the high school and prep middle school campuses. Many students are familiar with Siskel, who frequently serves the students lunch in the cafeteria.
"A woman of gold always leaves a trail of glitter. Ms. Siskel shines of all colors, especially gold!" said cadet Ghermyia Anderson, a sophomore at Sarasota Military Academy in a statement.
Siskels donations have helped provide classroom materials, extracurricular activities and cafeteria equipment, among other things.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Phyllis and her endless, constant support of our Academy, our mission, our team and our cadets," said Col. Christina Bowman, SMA Executive Director of Schools. "This match is such an extraordinary way for us to raise funds and awareness, and we owe her a debt of gratitude for her generosity.”
Those wishing to learn more or contribute to the school's campaign, visit the school's website.