It is the mission of the Ravenna Community Educational Foundation to enhance the quality of education and educational opportunities and to generate and distribute financial and other resources for the benefit of the students and staff of the Ravenna Community Schools.

Welcome to RCEF

The Ravenna Community Educational Foundation (RCEF) was formed in 2006 as a non-profit organization created to strengthen the caliber of education in the schools within Ravenna. Foundation board members are community leaders and residents who have a vested interest in the success of all Ravenna children.

Dolores E. (Dee) Swanson gave the initial gift to start this “Build A Fund,” as we first called it, in December of 2006, and a gift from Rudolph and Ruth Lonnee put RCEF over our “first” goal of $10,000.00 by the end of our first year. RCEF was here to stay!

Officially established in January 2007, our Charter members were: Karen Barker-President, Matt Broton –Vice President, Sharon Yonker – Secretary, Brenda Jacobs – Treasurer, with Trustees: Ken Punter, Ken Patterson, Sr., Brandy Thompson-Bueche, Laura Wagner and Dee Swanson. As RCEF was developing the first year there were many changes and by the end of that year we had to sadly accept the resignations of Matt Broton and Sharon Yonker but also added Jason Helsen, Michelle Straley and Mike Pierson. Laura Wagner became Vice President and Brandy Thompson-Bueche was our Secretary.

RCEF first met at Beechnau Elementary Library. Then during the summer RCEF moved next door to the United Methodist Church. By the end of our first year we had found our new home at the Swanson Pickle Company Heights Ravenna Road.
Ravenna residents and businesses have continually rallied around their schools. As governmental funding declines and the demands of education expand, it comes back to those who take pride in the community of Ravenna (current and past residents) to help maintain our school system's high standards by supporting our students and teachers.

RCEF provides funds for scholarships and educational enrichment beyond the base provided by the operating budget of the schools. The "little extras" provided in the classroom can potentially make the difference between a good school and a great school. Not only do the extras assist in attracting and inspiring quality students and retain first-rate teachers, they can improve school life and set Ravenna schools apart from others.

Grant awards are available to applicants from Ravenna Public Schools as well as St. Catherine's School and reach every level of education from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Scholarships are based upon an application process and interview by a panel consisting of RCEF board members, educators and a representative from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.

Giving Back to the Community

RCEF continued its tradition of giving back to the community by handing out over 1,000 bottles of water at the Ravenna Cruise-In car show held Friday, 17 July 2015 in downtown Ravenna. The event was well attended and the bottles were distributed in just over 1 1/2 hours. The hot and humid weather made the water a great item to give out and the water was appreciated. Dee Swanson, Ken & Mary Patterson and Ken Punter helped to give out the water for the Ravenna Community Educational Foundation.



RCEF List of Donors Through 2014

RAVENNA COMMUNITY EDUCATIONAL
FOUNDATION WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THE
FOLLOWING DONORS
SAPPHIRE $10,000-$14,999
GripTrac Inc.
Mr. & Mrs. Donald Swanson
Mr. Thomas W. Anton
RUBY $5,000-$9,999
Dr. & Mrs. Craig & Laura Cameron
Mr. & Mrs. Timothy C. den Dulk
Newkirk Electric Associates, Inc.
RCEF CHAMPION $2,500-$4,999
Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Emery
Mr. Rudy Lonnee
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth & Di Ann Patterson
Crockery Creek Turkey Farm
Ravenna Feed & Grain, Inc.
PLATINUM $1,000-$2,499
Mr. Arlynn W. Anderson
Mr. & Mrs. Jack & Mary Arends
Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Karen Barker
Dr. & Mrs. Timothy Beechnau
Mr. Larry Darcy
Mr. & Mrs. Andrew J. Emery
Mr. & Mrs. Terry Farr
Mrs. Vada Fortune
Mr. & Mrs. Jason & Maria Helsen
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Jones
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Edward Krepps
Mr. & Mrs. John C. Link III
Mr. & Mrs. Ken & Mary Patterson
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Riplo
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph B. Rogers, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Harold V. Woodard
Jawor Brothers Blueberries, Inc.
GOLD $500-$999
Ms. Melanie M. Block
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer
Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Dunnuck
Mr. & Mrs. James & Brenda Jacobs
Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Kilbourne
Honorable Thomas H. Linck
The Macdonald Family
Mr. Scott M. McFarren
Ms. Illana A. Olsen
Mr. Jeffrey D. Patterson & Mrs. Ellen F. Whittemore
Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Mary Pierson
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth & Kathleen Punter
Mr. & Dr. Fred & Mary Rosel
Mrs. Edward Sklepinski
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff & Elizabeth Solem
Mr. & Mrs. Melvin & Linda Thompson
Mr. & Mrs. Brian & Laura Wagner
Ages & Stages Child Care
Heiss Farms
Linck Insurance Agency, Inc.
Ravenna Bowl, Inc.
Ravenna Lumber Company
Ravenna United Methodist Church
Swanson Pickle Co., Inc.
Van Andel Propane
Verplank Trucking Co.
SILVER $100-$499
Ms. Tammy Arbogast
Mr. Merrill Bailey
Mr. & Mrs. Robert R. Becklin
Mr. and Mrs. Clifford A. Bennett
Ms. Debra A. Braspenninx
Ms. Cindy J. Cline
Ms. Kendra K. Harpe Carroll
Mr. Eric W. Cumberland
Mr. & Mrs. Donald Hazen
Mr. & Mrs. Randolph & Barbara Helsen
Ms. Connie K. Ide
Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Jacobs
Ms. Angelina Jerome
Mr. and Mrs. Clark R. Kantola
Ms. Tracy A. Lemkie
Mr. Wayne Lobdell
Mr. Michael Lonnee
Mr. & Mrs. William M. Loxterman
Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Melinda Lynch
Ms. Jeanette Magsig
Ms. Ida McDougal
Mr. & Mrs. Ron Pavlich
Mr. & Mrs. Glenn & Claudeia Place
Sue Roeft
Ms. Jessie L. Russell
Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Susan Sharp
Mr. Russel J. & Ann M. Shavalier
Mrs. Floretta Sheridan
Ms. Amy Sitzer
Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey A. Straley
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Swanson
Mr. & Mrs. Mark VanderWal
Ms. Judith A. Vanderzwart
Mr. Richard L. VanOss
Ms. Patricia S. Vermeer
Mr. Robert E. Yeager
Mr. & Mrs. Joe Young
Choice One Bank
Jerry's Welding
Keefe's Ravenna Pharmacy, Inc.
Ravenna Hall of Fame Committee
Village Hardware & Auto Supply, Inc.

Report from the Treasurer for 2014

Our 2014 year-end fund balance was $145,349.63. With a beginning balance of $123,202.18, we surpassed the $125,000 milestone in fund balance in 2014, another major financial accomplishment. We received $25,001.87 in donations, experienced $6,548.62 in investment gains as the stock market had another good year, paid $1,925.89 in investment and management fees, and disbursed $7,477.15 in grants and scholarships.
At December 31, 2014, we had 171 donors on record, up from 151 one year ago, and 100 of them are at the Silver level or higher ($100+ in donations). We have three Sapphire level donors, up from one a year ago, with Thomas Anton and Donald and Dee Swanson joining GripTrac Inc, reaching the $10,000+ level in donations.
Taste of Ravenna 2014 produced total revenue of over $8,500 and a net income of approximately $5,573. Approximately 185 tickets were sold to the event. This was our best event yet in terms of fundraising and attendance and will help us grow our fund balance and also provide us some opportunities for grants and scholarships in 2015 and beyond.
Our 2014 year-end checking account balance was $1,607.31, with no outstanding transactions. This is after all Taste of Ravenna bills have been paid, and after we deposited a whopping $5,573 in proceeds from Taste of Ravenna into our fund.

Current Fund balance:
Our first quarter 2015 statement was recently released. Our fund balance as of March 31, 2015 is $148,686.12. First quarter contributions were $172, investment activity resulted in gains of $3,710.04, and administrative fees of $545.55 were deducted.
Checking account:
Our checking account balance as of the April 15, 2015, statement is $1,257.31. There are no outstanding checks and all known bills including the PO box and website fee have been paid.
Recent bills paid:
The last check written was $350 to Sickles Consulting, 2/10/2015.
Recent donations of note:
4th quarter 2014 (if not already noted in 12/16/2014 meeting report):
Thomas Anton, $3,000
Kenneth and Mary Patterson, $1,500
Mr. and Mrs. Terry Farr, $1,000
Jack and Mary Arends, $500
Dennis and Barb Emery, $500
Since April 1, 2015:
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Link, $500 (Link scholarship)

RCEF 2014 End-of-the Year Report from the President

February 5, 2015
From: Marty Heiss, 2014 President of Ravenna Community Educational Foundation
Subject: 2014 End of Year Report

1. Our major fundraiser was the “Taste of Ravenna.” The November 2014 event was the best attended and most profitable to date indicating continued and increased support from the Ravenna community and surrounding areas. We again had baskets donated by each Board member, from each school building and transportation department, and from individuals . We also had a live auction: an overnight and dinner/breakfast package to the Shoreline Inn and Lakehouse Restaurant w/tickets to the Frauenthal Center; an antique school desk/chair (refinished by Ken Punter), 4 MSU basketball tickets, 2 Adirondeck chairs, Tom Izzo autographed basketball, handcrafted hallway bench (designed & built by Ken Patterson), and wooden chopping block. The bidding was fast and furious and Don Swanson did an outstanding auctioneering job assisted by Mike Barker. Moss Ridge put together the wine and beer samples again this year. We had brew beer samples this year from a Muskegon brewery. Our alumnus of the year for 2014 was John Swanson, a 1976 graduate of RHS. A very successful evening.
2. We again funded a number of grants: $300 to Kelly Hecksel for “March is Reading” month speaker; $300 to Amy Sitzer for Title I iPad headphones; $240 to Carrie Schoenborn for Art Dept. wall mural; $500 to “Read Early Read Often” program; $500 to school transportation department for bus safety program;.
3. We were able to increase our scholarship grant to two scholarships of $1,000 each.
4. We again participated in Dog Daze, handing out 1300 popsicles to many hot and thirsty attendees.
5. Officer elections were held and the officers for 2015 are: Marty Heiss, President; Denny Emery, Vice President; Jason Helsen, Treasurer, and Mike Pierson, Secretary. The remaining Board members are: Dee Swanson, Ken Patterson, Ken Punter, Karen Barker and Laura Cameron.
6. Our fund balance continues to grow. We began 2014 with $123,202.18 and ended the year with $145,349.63. We are most grateful to our generous community (and to the healthy economy) for this continuing growth and enabling the Foundation to continue supporting our schools, our staff and students with financial support in continuing academic excellence.
7. We are expecting 2015 to be another great year. We will continue with our efforts and use our resources wisely in our continuance of helping Ravenna Public Schools prosper.

Respectfully submitted,

Marty Heiss

John Swanson Selected for the RCEF 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

Ravenna Community Educational Foundation has selected John Swanson for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. John is president of Swanson Pickle Company of Ravenna that has one of the largest pickle storage facilities in the United States. The company farms about 3,000 acres and stores over a million bushel of pickles for processing.
John has been a leader since high school graduating from Ravenna in 1976, 5th in his class and cum laude. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee with a B.S. in Business with a specialty in finance.
John has been active in the Ravenna community with the Chamber of Commerce and on the Beechnau Thieme foundation board, he served on the Ravenna Public Schools board of education and on the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District board for 15 years, including several years as board president. He has been a member of the Ravenna Lions Club for 34 years and is chairman of the Ravenna High School Sports Hall of Fame board.
At the county level, John has served on the Muskegon County Community Foundation since 2005 and is currently chairman. At the state level, he is a member of the Michigan Vegetable Council and the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo Show committee. On the global level, he is a board member of the Pickle Packers International.
In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Master Farmer honor and this year received the Master Farmer of the Year award from the Michigan Vegetable Council.
The RCEF is proud to honor John Swanson with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni award. He will be recognized at the foundation annual Taste of Ravenna event Thursday November 6, 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Moss Ridge Golf Club, 13545 Apple Avenue, Ravenna. Tickets are $25 per person and $45 per couple. They are available from any of the foundation trustees: Marty Heiss, Ken Patterson Sr., Ken Punter, Jason Helsen, Karen Barker, Laura Cameron, Denny Emery, Mike Pierson and Dee Swanson.



RCEF Increases the Amount given in Mini-Grants to Ravenna Students and Teachers

RCEF has increased the amount that it will give in a mini-grant to a teacher or student from the Ravenna Area schools. The previous amount of $300 has been raised as of September 2014 to $500. This increase is only possible because of the generosity of those who claim the Ravenna area as their home. As before, teachers or students can use this website to apply for those mini-grants.

RCEF 2013 President's End of Year Report

April 8, 2014
From: Marty Heiss, 2013 President of Ravenna Community Educational Foundation
Subject: 2013 End of Year Report

1. The major event this year was again the “Taste of Ravenna.” This year’s event was the best attended and most profitable to date. We again had baskets donated by each Board member and from each school building. We also had a live auction: an overnight and dinner/breakfast package to the Shoreline Inn and Lakehouse Restaurant w/tickets to the Frauenthal Center; a sofa table designed and constructed by Ken Patterson and Ken Punter; a wall clock built and donated by Andy Engle (with boards from the old high school/middle school gym floor); two tickets to an MSU hockey game; and two tickets to an MSU basketball game. The bidding was fast and furious and Don Swanson did an outstanding auctioneering job. Moss Ridge put together the wine and beer samples again this year; however, we elected not to sell bottled wines- only to have tastings. Our alumnus of the year for 2013 was Sheri Jones Rocinski, a 1983 graduate of RHS. A very successful evening.
2. We again funded a number of grants: $1200 to the four DI teams going to national competition; $240 to Carrie Schoenborn for art department; $180 to Tammy Arbogast for iPad math app; $278 to Shari Luce for Bal-A-Vis-X program; and $300 to Clark Kantola for bobcat mounting in display case.
3. We contributed $2000 to the new Ravenna Library addition.
4. We also awarded two scholarships for 2013 ($1000 granted to Colton Kantola, $500 to Jessica Heiss).
5. We again participated in Dog Daze, handing out 1000 popsicles to many hot and thirsty attendees.
6. Officer elections were held and the officers for 2014 are: Marty Heiss, President; Denny Emery, Vice President; Jason Helsen, Treasurer, and Mike Pierson, Secretary. The remaining Board members are: Dee Swanson, Ken Patterson, Ken Punter, Karen Barker and Laura Cameron. Brandy Klapatch was removed from the Board in accordance with the Bylaws due to lack of participation.
7. Our fund balance continues to grow. We began 2013 with $92,613.34 and ended the year with $123,202.18. We are most grateful to our generous community (and to the healthy stock market) for this continuing growth and enabling the Foundation to continue supporting our schools, our staff and students with financial support in continuing academic excellence.
8. 2014 should be another great year. We will continue with our efforts and use our resources wisely in our continuance of helping Ravenna Public Schools prosper.

Respectfully submitted,

Marty Heiss

2013 RCEF Distinguished Alumna- Sheri Jones Rucinski

The Ravenna Community Educational Foundation selected Sheri Jones Rucinski for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award. She will be the second recipient of the award as the RCEF honored retired judge Thomas H. Linck in 2011.
Sheri graduated from RHS in 1983 and was a top 25 graduate from MSU. She has been the news anchor for CBS affiliate channel 6 in Lansing for 24 years. Sheri has received local, state and national acclaim for her work with Crime Stoppers and won the 2013 Extraordinary Woman award for the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame; was the 2011-2012 Woman of the Year for the National Association of Professional Women and has won the Best in Category award for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters 9 times.



RCEF has Record Year in Donations and Giving Back to the Ravenna Community in 2013

RCEF was blessed with the ability to give over $5,000 in either grants or scholarships to students of Ravenna schools in 2013. We are now well over $1000,000 in fund equity and our giving to worthy students and projects in the Ravenna area should continue to grow with the outpouring of contributions we have received from those who so generously support Ravenna Schools. The Taste of Ravenna was overwhelmingly successful in 2013 and having Sheri Jones as our Distinguished Alumni was noteworthy. The amount collected/donated at the Taste of Ravenna and the number of attendees were both larger than any year previous. Go to Financial Archives on the website and view the RCEF Giving Report with Individual Donors from CFFMC. The file breaks out the individual contributions and also shows where the donations from RCEF went to in 2013.

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