Jan. 22, 2018
Board Member Since 2005
It isn’t every day a Lawrence Schools Foundation Board member is part of something that warrants a standing ovation from a crowd of more than 400 people. But then an incredible Foundation Follies performance, which brings a crowd to its feet occurs and there are a couple of board members on stage taking bows.
For Tom Hornbaker, this moment occurred at the 2017 Foundation Follies event, as he played the saxophone in a band comprised of current and former school district staff, graduates and parents, which closed out the night with renditions of Cry Me a River and In The Mood.
“The vocal and all the band players said they really enjoyed it and I think it was a hit with the audience,” Hornbaker said, putting it mildly.
Hornbaker, who has worked as the chief financial officer of The World Company for 24 years, is the longest-tenured current Foundation board member. Since joining the organization in 2005, he has served on the finance, program and Follies committees, while also spending time on the executive board as the group’s treasurer.
The finance committee, and especially treasurer position, are key components of the Foundation.
“I attended Lawrence Public Schools, as did my kids, so I wanted to help the schools in some way,” Hornbaker said. “I wanted to use my professional skills and local upbringing to help support and recognize students and teachers.”
Being involved in the community is a big part of the life of Hornbaker and his wife Shelly, who is the volunteer center manager at United Way of Douglas County. Seeing the potential displayed by graduating district students is what is important to him.
“I get a kick out of the Follies and the Community Education Breakfast, but probably the most rewarding things to me are the students and teachers with their amazing applications for scholarships and awards that we see in the program committee,” he said.
Hornbaker is looking to make a return to the Follies stage in 2018 and is always staying in practice.
“I play in four bands and stay connected to both young and old by playing on consecutive days during the school year with college students at KU and then at retirement homes with the New Horizons Band,” he said.