Lisa Anderson: Providing a Boost
The music programs of the Westbrook Public Schools have delighted audiences and provided opportunities for countless students over the years. To help support those programs, the Music Boosters, headed by Co-president Lisa Anderson, steps in to help with fundraising.
“The sole purpose of Music Boosters is to support the music programs of the Westbrook Schools. Everything we raise goes back to the music programs,” Lisa says. “It’s been around for a long time; I don’t even know exactly when it started,” she adds.
Since 2019, Lisa and her husband, Steve, have been the organization’s co-presidents, but Lisa is sure to point out that it is a group effort.
“We get so many parents who volunteer to help with events. Without all the parents, we couldn’t do it,” Lisa stresses.
Lisa says that over the past four years, the group has expanded its fundraising efforts from just the Acoustic Café and membership drives to include other efforts as well.
“We actually expanded fundraising aspects to include an annual poinsettia sale as well as a variety show at the middle school,” Lisa says.
With the money raised, the Boosters are able to help the music programs in several fun ways.
“We’re not a huge fundraising organization, but we raise enough to give out scholarships in the spring to high school students,” says Lisa. “We also give a middle school spirit award, and we give gift cards to fourth graders in an award for them as well.”
Beyond the awards, the group is also able to defray the costs of some field trips, help students with expenses for private lessons, and occasionally pay for concerts.
“The poinsettia sale has been very profitable for us. We were really able to defray the cost of the big Washington trip this year for the high school band and chorus students. The kids were very excited,” Lisa proudly notes. Lisa is also quick to point it that it wasn’t just the Music Boosters who helped with the trip. “We contributed $3,000, and the Westbrook Foundation generously provided us with $5,000, which defrayed the cost for each kid. In total, we had $8,000 toward the trip, so that was a big win for us.”
The biggest fundraiser the Boosters do is called the Acoustic Café.
“It’s very popular, and it’s been happening for years. Kids get together and perform. We provide the food and decoration but they actually do the sets themselves, usually as part of a senior project,” says Lisa.
This year, the event is scheduled for May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Westbrook Middle School café. Tickets will be sold at the door, and proceeds will go to the Music Boosters. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.
Lisa says she and Steve were first recruited to the Boosters after the previous presidents were retiring.
“They did a great job, but their kids were graduating, so they kind of recruited us,” Lisa recalls. “Also, our older son was very into music.”
For Lisa, volunteering is something she’s always been interested in, but it became more important as she had kids.
“It’s always been important to me. I did some volunteering when I was younger and single, and I’ve done a lot around Westbrook, too,” says Lisa.
Besides her work with the Music Boosters, Lisa has been a familiar face in the school community over the last 10 years. Since 2013, Lisa has worked in the school system, first as a paraprofessional and now as a secretary in the guidance department office at the high school.
“I love it. I absolutely love it. I love the kids and I love the staff,” Lisa sums up.
Lisa originally grew up in Massachusetts but has called Westbrook home since 2000. In her spare time Lisa likes to spend time at home with her family, travel, and, of course, going to concerts.
Asked what her favorite part of living in Westbrook is, Lisa points to the tight-knit nature of the community.
“I definitely love the fact, which can be a blessing and a curse sometimes, that the town is so small and has such a sense of community,” Lisa says.
“I love the fact my kids have a sense of belonging in this community, and everyone seems to support everyone, and that goes for the adults in town too.”