“The Foundation is a trustworthy nonprofit for donations that enhance learning for students. It is a way to ‘give back’ to Rush City Schools, to support excellence in education, or to leave a legacy gift. Our strategy is to build a fund that will generate earnings to fund innovative educational projects.” – Vern Koepp, Superintendent
By MaryHelen Swanson
Been there, done that is a phrase that may be getting old these days, but it’s a true statement about the folks who have organized the Rush City Education Foundation (RCEF).
Many of them attended, graduated, or worked in Rush City schools.
Many were blessed with parents and educators who encouraged them through the years, provided challenges and offered some of the extras that perhaps their school district could not afford.
They know the importance of education beyond the classroom and are now willing to do what they can “to promote and enhance student achievement and invest in educational excellence” in Rush City schools and students.
The above quoted statement is the mission of the RCEF, a non-profit organization with the purpose of enhancing educational opportunities … and encouraging students to “achieve excellence.”
Organized and eager, a small group of people now would like the community, alumni and others who care about the education of children, to know about their efforts.
A separate entity from the school district, RCEF has its own board of directors and bylaws. Working cooperatively with the school district and the community, RCEF plans to use time, talent and financial resources to support the students.
RCEF funding will not replace school district responsibilities, but it is the intent to work to enhance district dollars.
RCEF is a member of the larger St. Croix Valley Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization.
So what does RCEF do?
They will raise funds, distribute grant money, encourage long-term charitable giving, establish endowed funds that recognize, memorialize or honor an individual, family, business, organization or cause.
And they will hold and invest funds to earn a meaningful return.
As noted on the RCEF website, “if your heart is still in Rush City, you have fond memories of your school years in Rush City, a particular subject or teacher impacted your life, or you want to contribute to students in the Rush City Schools” you are invited to support the RCEF.
You can do this in a number of ways.
If you are on the planning committee for a reunion, consider linking reunion activities to a charitable gift that will directly benefit the Rush City students.
Become a foundation volunteer and participate with other alumni at special celebrations and fundraising events.
Let your classmates know about the foundation.
Make a contribution to academic departments or activities that made a difference in your life. Donations can be made through the website.
Say thank you to a teacher who made a difference in your life by giving a Gratitude Gift to the foundation.
And finally, you can make a Memorial Donation in memory of a loved one or friend.
Success through involvement
The success of the foundation becomes real when people get involved. And there are many ways in which to do just that. All you have to do is decide what you might like to do to support RCEF.
Opportunities for involvement are coming soon as the RCEF is planning its first fundraiser for Oct. 6. The event will take place at Chucker’s Bowl in Rush City beginning at 6 p.m. with outdoor activities in the theme of Oktoberfest.
According to RCEF president Scott Friday, the outdoor activities will include music, food, and beer and wine tasting. Moving indoors at 8:30 p.m. attendees will enjoy the comedy of Craig Allen and Rush City alumnus Priscilla Nelson Mitchell, (Class of ‘74).
Tickets will be $25 each or a table can be purchased at $250 that includes 6 tickets, beer stein and acknowledgement in the evening’s printed program.
All proceeds will go directly to the Rush City Education Foundation.
Friday expects it will be a fun evening, but it will take volunteers to make it successful.
For tickets or to volunteer, contact Scott Friday at 320-469-1791.
Tickets for the fall fundraiser are also available at Chucker’s Bowl, at the upcoming Music and Art Festival, or from foundation members Heidi Schafer, Vivian Pasche or Morry Engler.
In addition, RCEF announced that plans are getting underway for an all-school reunion in 2013. Help is needed and Friday invites anyone who would like to get involved to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Rush City Area High School.
All-school reunions, profitable fundraisers and successful foundations don’t happen by themselves.
If you’ve been there and done that in Rush City and would like to see that other generations have the same or better opportunities, check the RCEF website at: www.rushcityeducationfoundation.org and get involved.