The Dawson County Board of Education was given a surprise donation during its June 2 meeting.
Acting upon the wishes of the Pauline S. Ivey Revocable Living Trust, Trustee Betty Ann Bagley gave a donation of $400,000 to the board to go toward the school system's art program.
Ivey, a Cumming resident with close Dawson County ties who passed away last year, had the trust created in March of 2012.
"The Trust was created by Mrs. Ivey prior to her death and authorized Mrs. Bagley, as Trustee, to distribute a portion of the Trust Fund to charitable organizations selected by the Trustee," said Ivey estate lawyer Dennis Bottoms. "Mrs. Ivey lived most of her life in Dawson County and loved the community and its people. She had a special desire to help the children of Dawson County."
Board of education member Roger Slaton said that he could remember taking art classes with Ivey's daughter, Frances.
"The Iveys were always good to me and I tried to be good to them in return, so I guess she remembered us," said Slaton, who helped facilitate the donation.
The money is to be split up, with $300,000 earmarked for a performing arts center and $100,000 being split up among the schools for art supplies.
The school system is estimating that each school will receive $2,000 a year per school for supplies.
"We are very pleased to be a recipient of a donation from Ms. Ivey," said Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs. "The funds will be specifically used to fund supplies for the art programs throughout the system, as well as, help furnish the new performing arts center being constructed at the high school. The children of Dawson County will benefit greatly from this donation. "
The funds will be watched over separately from the rest of the yearly budget.
"The money will be given a special designation in the budget and closely managed," said Dawson County School System Director of Finances Jamie Ulrich. "I don't think I can ever remember a private citizen giving this much money at once to the system."