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Building a foundation

School foundations provide resources in tough times

November 8, 2011
By STACEY KUKKONEN - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - About $120,000 in scholarships is given out every year to graduating seniors at Jeffers High School thanks to the school's foundation at work.

When faculty and staff were being trained to use a new engraver, purchased for $27,000, at the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium and Keweenaw, it was the work of some strategic fundraising from the school's foundation to make the purchase possible.

Several other local schools districts, including Hancock Public Schools and Chassell Public Schools, also have a foundation which gives back to students. School foundations are funds set up specifically to give back to schools and students through scholarships, technology, equipment and support.

Article Photos

Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Frank Rugani, who is president of the Adams Township School District Foundation, Inc., and his wife Nancy Rugani, stand in front of a display in Jeffers High School. The high school has information about the school’s foundation for anyone interested in learning more.

"Our foundation provides resources for classroom projects," said Tim Keteri, superintendent of the Adams Township School District.

The Adams Township School District Foundation, Inc., is a fund established to support scholastic achievement by providing resource for classroom projects, such as world history and family histories.

"They did a service to the school by digitizing the yearbooks and they digitized all the class pictures," Keteri said.

The foundation works toward keeping visibility and getting the students involved in the foundation. This year, three students are directly involved with working with the foundation through service learning. The students work with creating newsletters and helping digitize photos and the yearbook, he said.

The foundation was created about a dozen years ago and almost every donor is an alum of Jeffers High School, Keteri said. Some of the major donors, including Helen Miller, John Opie and the Steinheld family have established scholarships that give for years.

The C-L-K Foundation is mostly made up of donations from alumni, as well, said Darryl Pierce, superintendent of C-L-K Schools.

"I'd say about 95 percent of funding comes from alumni," Pierce said.

Pierce said the foundation has started an endowment and gifts from the foundation to C-L-K Schools in the past have included funding to purchase four laptops for the Business Professionals of America student organization, a collection of e-books and an iPad to the school library, sensory room equipment to the elementary special education program, $8,008 from the Foundation for two state-of-the-art contact detection cabinet saws and much more.

Many times, teachers will put in a request to the foundation for a specific need and the foundation board will take those requests and consider the gift.

"The foundation either accepts donations for the endowment or for school projects," he said.

Every year, the foundation sends out about 6,000 brochures to individual donors and averages about $14,000 per year in fundraising. The money raised directly affect each student at C-L-K Schools.

To learn about giving and for more information about the C-L-K Foundation, visit To learn about giving and to download the Adams Township School District Foundation brochure, visit



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