Family honors father with school trip fund for CMS students who need assistance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Joe Beresford used a common phrase: "It’s nice to be nice.”

His children, Sam and Lia, often think about that quote, especially on Friday, the one-year anniversary of his death.

[LINK: More information on the CMS Foundation]

Charlotte’s Piedmont Middle School, where Sam and Lia, attended, is one of a handful of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools benefiting from the Joe Beresford Fund.

Sam and Lia have fond memories of going on many field trips through their CMS years.

"Lots of field trips,” said Lia Beresford. "Let's say the field trip cost $5. Our dad would send us with $10 and say, ‘Give this to your teacher, this is for a student who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the trip.'"

When Joe Beresford died, he left them some money, and they formed the Joe Beresford Field Trip Fund through the CMS Foundation, to provide fees for art, and curriculum-focused field trips for those who might not be able to afford it.

"I think we didn’t realize it until we were older that our dad, you know, understood socioeconomics and public education, that there are kids that are not as advantaged as his and he felt he could do something about that in a small way."

“We immediately thought of that gesture and it was such a beautiful kind of representation of his philosophy,” Sam Beresford said.

Piedmont Middle School, Irwin Academic Center and the newly combined Dilworth Elementary benefit from the fund. They are schools the family feels support CMS' effort to make public education more equitable for all.

Channel 9 asked them what they think their father would think of the fund.

"I could just see him, you know, his little smile,” Lia Beresford said. “It’s nice to be nice. You guys got it."

Sam and Lia said one of the most important things about what their dad did was that it was quiet and low key, so while he probably wouldn't be crazy about all this attention, he would love the spirit of what this is doing.”

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