Chester schools receive $30k from donor

Jason Theobald
Staff Writer


This past November proved to be a remarkable month for Chester’s public schools. In the span of seven days, the schools received two monetary donations from the same individual totaling $30,000.

Kenneth Worsham, a seasonal resident of Prattville who has been coming to Lake Almanor for the past 20 years, earmarked his donations for two specific funds.

On Nov. 22, Worsham donated $20,000 to Chester Elementary School (CES), specifying that the money was to go toward the CES Playground Fund. In the letter that accompanied his donation, Worsham said that he had learned about the fund from local resident Wendy Cheli, who told him that the school was in need of playground equipment.

Worsham goes on to say that he plans on donating again after the first of the year if CES is still in need of additional funding for its playground project.

Worsham’s second donation came seven days later when he cut a check for $10,000. The second donation went to help fund Chester Junior-Senior High School’s Almanor Research Institute (ARI).

Started in 2000 with funding provided by an education grant, the institute spawns Lake Almanor brown and rainbow trout in the spring, incubates the eggs and raises the fish throughout the year.

Since its launch in 2000, ARI has supported a variety of scholastic programs and classes at Chester High, including aquaculture, limnology, and freshwater ecology. In addition, ARI has conducted a number of studies concerning Lake Almanor’s watershed, including a cold-water volume study done for the “Save Lake Almanor” project.

In the letter delivered with the second donation, Worsham said he hoped that the ARI program could help maintain Lake Almanor’s fishery, and that his donation would help keep the program going.

“I just wish to give back something for all my years of being able to fish a fantastic lake,” Worsham wrote, adding,  “Hopefully I will be able to tour your facilities this spring.”

Those who would like information on donating to either the CES Playground Fund or the ARI program are invited to contact the Plumas County Office of Education at 283-6500.

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