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Sherrard alum donates $150K for school's TV program

Before the donation, Sherrard students were using homemade teleprompters and an old iPod with voice memos for their TV broadcasts.

SHERRARD, Ill. — The Sherrard School District received $150,000 in donations for several programs and scholarships that directly benefit students, the school district announced Monday morning. A large amount of the funds will go towards the school's TV program.

A $100,000 donation was made by 2009 Sherrard graduate Ryan Carlson with a portion of those proceeds used for purchasing updated video cameras and equipment for Sherrard High School TV (STV).

"Sherrard alumni Ryan Carlson's substantial donations are amazing and greatly appreciated," said Superintendent Alan Boucher in a statement Wednesday. "The impact is immediate and will help our students and programs excel." 

Earlier this year, the school district said Carlson also donated $50,000 to fund the Academic Achievement Awards which lost financial backing several years ago from the Milan Chamber of Commerce. Half of the funds were used for 2022 scholarships and the remaining $25,000 will be used for scholarships in 2023.

"I saw Jim (Mertens) is leaving so I might want to squeeze my way in (WQAD News 8). If I could slide in next to Denise that would be the opportunity of a lifetime," said Sherrard senior Brenin Kreck.

The senior said prior to the donation, Sherrard students were using homemade teleprompters and an old iPod with voice memos.

The donator, Carlson, is the owner and CEO of Specialty Capital, Inc., a Las Vegas-based private holding company with investments in commercial real estate, development and private equity. Carlson's company has created projects that span across more than two dozen states and includes commercial hospitality, entertainment and retail properties.

The school district said Carlson's philanthropic efforts have raised over $1,000,000 in donations to dozens of charitable causes via the Carlson Family Trust.

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