Source: Sherman Publications

Lake Orion Education Foundation's fundraiser helps schools

by Meg Peters

August 28, 2013

Grab your dancing shoes, the Lake Orion Education Foundation (LOEF) is hosting their 8th annual Evening for Education at the Indianwood Country Club Saturday, November 9.

The dinner-dance will include a silent auction, game tables and a DJ, along with beverages and hors d’ oeuvres at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m.

The cost is $80 per person, or $150 per couple.

An independent, non-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, the LOEF works in partnership with Lake Orion Community Schools to help fund education grants and student programs the district could not otherwise afford.

While working in conjunction with the schools, the LOEF is completely independent and does not engage in education policy or curriculum issues—they just provide the money, along with the PNC Foundation, a strong partner since 2005.

Last year the LOEF distributed over $25,000 in mini-grants to LOCS.

Grants are awarded to the individual schools, with one grant per elementary school, two grants per middle school, and three for the high school, and are also awarded as separate, district-wide grants, with two grant cycles per year.

“It could be any sort of tool that would help enhance the education in that classroom,” Karen Appledorn said, board member of LOEF.

“It can be for an i-pad, a notebook, a series of books, something that one grade level in the whole district is going to use, or one school might use,” she said.

About 70 to 75 percent of grants issued are technology or reading based.

Other examples include a fitness program in the elementary schools, and test kits to test pond scum for science classes.

“We look at the feasibility of the grant request, is it something that makes sense and is it worth it, and look at the amount of students it will impact,” she continued. “We tend to choose the grants that impact the most students.”

Apart from classroom and district wide grants, LOEF has also committed to Olweus, an anti-bullying program implemented in schools across the United States.

While providing much of the initial costs for Olweus training starting two years ago, LOEF is also committed to fund the surveying process for the next three years, and maybe more.

LOEF’s incoming grants will be divided between Olweus and the mini-grant program.

The dollar amount of the mini-grants is determined by the annual events LOEF puts on, including a golf outing, a 5K/10K walk or run, and the dinner dance, along with any PNC Foundation grant funds.

Last year alone, LOEF and the PNC Foundation were able to donate a total of $23,000 to the Olweus Program, in addition to the around $20,000 in education/classroom grants.

If you are interested in donating funds or auction items, or have any other questions, please contact Karen Appledorn at (248) 814-8872 or email her atappledornk@gmail.com.

Appledorn has always been a strong advocate for the Lake Orion school district, has put two daughters through the district, and has been on the board since 2002.

“We saw the need for this with the state budget cuts starting in 1999, and we see the school budgets tightening their belts all the time, with the needs for these enhancements continuing to grow,” she said.

“We would love to get younger parents, and more and more people involved. Our meetings are always open, and our events are always fun.”