Date: March 13th, 2014

Dachelet Gift Establishes Belmont Excellence in Education Endowment Fund

MJ and Derek Dachelet

MJ and Derek Dachelet

Derek and MJ Dachelet have strong beliefs in education and community.  It is those passions that led them to explore the formation of a permanent endowment whose mission is to provide support for special programs and initiatives of the Belmont Community Schools.

The Dachelets were a part of a group of Belmont citizens and school advocates who came together during 2013 to study the options for creating everlasting support for the schools.  Ultimately that group of citizens moved forward, as a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, organizing an advisory board and beginning the process of educating the community about the mission and goals of an Excellence in Education Fund to support the Belmont Schools.

Derek and MJ were among the first to commit resources for the formation of the fund.  Their pledge of $10,000 guaranteed the fund’s formation.  In speaking of their gift Derek noted, “We support the Belmont Excellence in Education Fund because it is important to let teachers know that their community supports them and the innovative opportunities they want to provide for our children.  By making an endowment gift which generates monies in perpetuity, our school teachers will know that this support is available each year.  Our hope is that this extra funding will help make possible educational activities that might not otherwise have happened.”

In 1974, MJ’s parents relocated to Belmont.  MJ and 8 of her brothers and sisters are Belmont graduates.  MJ has dedicated her career to education, working at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College for 25 years.  Derek joined the Belmont community just over a decade ago.  He, too, has dedicated his talent to education, first at UW-Platteville and currently at Southwest Tech.  The Dachelets are active in the Belmont community both with the school and with the Lion’s Club.

The Belmont Excellence in Education Fund Advisory Board meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the high school library.  Members include Chad Bahr, Emily Christensen, Mary Demo, Tammy Haag, Dennis Popp, Kristie Popp, Kathy Miller-Riechers, and Jim Siedenburg.  Currently the board is seeking grant applications from teachers for special and innovative projects.  The board will make its initial grant award yet this spring of 2014.

The Belmont Excellence in Education Endowment Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Inc., a tax-exempt Community charity.  For more information or to make a donation to the Fund, contact advisory board member Mary Demo, (608) 762-5393, Tammy Haag, (608) 732-2350, or Kathy Miller-Riechers, (608) 762-5794, or CFSW Donor Services Representative Barb Daus, or (608) 778-3344.  Donations to the fund can be sent to Belmont Excellence in Education Endowment Fund, PO Box 348, Belmont, WI 53510 or can be made online at