A Bequest That Will Benefit Our Students for Generations

The Culver City Education Foundation (CCEF) is deeply gratified to announce that we have recently received an exceptionally generous bequest from the estate of the late Darlene Bilkiss in the amount of $625,000.

Darlene Bilkiss was a dedicated Kindergarten teacher at Farragut Elementary School for 38 years— the kind of teacher who kept in touch with many of her former students and their families— calling at the beginning of each school year to wish them well and celebrating milestone events with them, like bar mitzvahs, confirmations and weddings. She was a patient teacher who never raised her voice and always respected her students and their abilities to make good decisions.

After her retirement Darlene continued to work diligently for all of our CCUSD students by joining the CCEF Board. She was a board member for nine years, and remained active with CCEF for the rest of her life as our first emeritus board member, renowned for her ceaselessly positive outlook as well as her supportive and encouraging homemade cards.

Darlene’s bequest is the surest evidence of her profound belief in CCEF’s mission to support and enhance the education of every CCUSD student at every one of our schools, every single day. CCEF’s board is profoundly touched by her confidence in our ability to be good stewards of the funds she left to us and to ensure that her gift benefit not only the students in our schools today, but all the students to come.

As a board member, Darlene was aware not only of the needs of our students and our schools, but of CCEF’s needs, too. She knew that CCEF has sometimes struggled due to our lack of a significant endowment to help sustain our operations and support our students, especially in difficult economic times. Thanks to Darlene’s bequest, CCEF now has an incredible start toward growing an endowment that will be able to support our fundraising efforts and benefit our students and our schools for generations.

CCEF is also working with Farragut Elementary School to create a fitting memorial for Darlene Bilkiss at the school she loved so dearly. Her generosity, her dedication and her belief in all of our CCUSD kids will never be forgotten.