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.

2015 Ravenna Distinguished Alumni is Mr. Kevin Drake

The Ravenna Community Educational Foundation has named Kevin Drake as recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni award. Kevin is a 1976 graduate of Ravenna High School and 1980 graduate of Western Michigan University; he earned his masters degree in biology and environmental science from the University of Memphis in 1996. Kevin is currently Global Director, Regulatory Affairs, NALCO Champion-an eco-lab company in Houston, TX. He has served as Global Director, Product Stewardship for Champion Technologies, Inc, in Houston, TX; Manager, Product Stewardship-Americas, Champion Technologies, Inc. Houston, TX; Director, Regulatory Affairs, Microban Products Company, Huntersville, NC; Regulatory Toxicologist, Buckman Laboratories International Inc., Memphis, TN.

Kevin holds 2 patents; Ionene Polymers as Anthelmintics in Animals and Antimicrobial Wallboard. He has 11 professional publications and has made over 18 professional presentations.

Kevin and wife Sharon live with their two younger children in Katy, Texas while Kelsey recently graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and Wesley is attending Collin College in Plano Texas.

Kevin is the son of Harold Drake and the late Ethel Drake and Sharon is the daughter of Dave and Rosie Ruble, all of Ravenna.

He will be presented the award at RCEF’s 2016 Taste of Ravenna event to be held at Moss Ridge banquet center November 5, 6:30-9 p.m.

Mary Patterson Elected President of RCEF for 2016

Mary Patterson has been elected the president of RCEF commencing on 1 January 2016. The other RCEF officers retained their positions from last year. The vice president continues to be Denny Emery, the secretary is Mike Pierson and the treasurer is Jason Helsen.

CFFMC 3rd Quarter Financial Statement 2015

October 13, 2015

Dear Fund Holder:

Enclosed is your Fund Statement for the quarter ending September 30, 2015. The investment return on your fund for the 3rd Quarter was -5.06%, and -3.77% year-to-date.

Vanguard chief economist, Joseph Davis, recently wrote “we believe investors should continue to participate in the markets and stick with their asset allocation. Things could remain bumpy for some time, but that’s all the more reason to look through the volatility and stick with your investment plan. . . . In the short term, there’s more noise than trend in economic statistics.” (Vanguard, Joe Davis, Markets & Economy Commentary, October 6, 2015).

You may read the details regarding our investments and investment policy at:

In spite of the recent poor performance of global investment markets, we have some good news to share with you. Last year we participated in a national survey with over 500 other community foundations. The annual survey provides a benchmark for a variety of categories, including asset size, most active grantmakers, highest per capita gifts, and highest volume of gifts and grants. These benchmarks provide important insight to measure our performance against our peers. Your Community Foundation is in the Top 100 in each of the benchmark categories (and your Community Foundation is the only Michigan foundation able to make that claim). The generosity of our donors placed us 17th nationally for the highest dollar value of gifts on a per capita basis, and we are 31st nationally for the highest volume of gift and grant transactions. Your philanthropy is responsible for the strong and active Community Foundation that we have become, enabling us to build a better community in which to live!

We are always available to talk with you about your Fund, Community Foundation activities, or any other subject of interest you might want to discuss. Your generosity sets you apart and we value your thoughts!


Chris A. McGuigan Ann M. VanTassel
President/CEO Vice-President, Finance

Ravenna Community Educational Foundation Fund

Fund Statement: 01/01/2015 through 09/30/2015

Fund Established: 12/06/2006
Fund Representative: Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Punter

Grants/Scholarships Made in 2015YTD $-7,800.00

09/30/2015 01/01/2015 through

Beginning Fund Balance $ 146,071.26 $ 145,349.63
Donor Contributions $914.08 $2,720.08
Interfund Grants & Other Income 0.00 0.00
Total Contributions $914.08 $2,720.08
Interest and Dividends $808.35 $2,568.15
Realized & Unrealized Gains (Losses) -7,804.64 -7,746.21
Total Investment Activity $-6,996.29 $-5,178.06

Grants and Scholarships $ -6,000.00 $ -7,800.00
Interfund Transfers 0.00 0.00
Program/Direct Fund Expenses 0.00 0.00
Administrative Fees -532.82 -1,635.42
Total Disbursements $-6,532.82 $-9,435.42

Ending Fund Balance $ 133,456.23 $ 133,456.23

Ravenna Community Educational Foundation Fund
For The Period Ending September 30, 2015

Gift Listing:
Donor Date Amount
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 01/06/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 01/06/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 01/06/2015 2.00
Mr. and Mrs. Leo B. Kondro 01/19/2015 50.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 01/20/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 01/20/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 01/20/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 02/04/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 02/04/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 02/04/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 02/25/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 02/25/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 02/25/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 03/05/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 03/05/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 03/05/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 03/16/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 03/16/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 03/16/2015 2.00
Kenneth & Di Ann Patterson 03/16/2015 50.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 04/01/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 04/01/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 04/01/2015 2.00
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Link III 04/06/2015 500.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 04/16/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 04/16/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 04/16/2015 2.00
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edward Krepps 04/23/2015 500.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 04/30/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 04/30/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 04/30/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 05/15/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 05/15/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 05/15/2015 2.00
Kenneth and Kathleen Punter 05/15/2015 200.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 05/26/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 05/26/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 05/26/2015 2.00
Larry Darcy 06/03/2015 350.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 06/11/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 06/11/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 06/11/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 06/22/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 06/22/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 06/22/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 07/10/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 07/10/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 07/10/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 07/22/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 07/22/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 07/22/2015 2.00
Ravenna Public Schools Junior Achievement 08/14/2015 573.08
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 08/14/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 08/14/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 08/14/2015 2.00
Ms. Jessie L. Russell 08/14/2015 150.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 08/17/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 08/17/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 08/17/2015 2.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 09/03/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 09/03/2015 5.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 09/03/2015 2.00
Cindy J. Cline 09/17/2015 20.00
Mr. Scott M. McFarren 09/17/2015 5.00
Ms. Diane L. DeBoer 09/17/2015 3.00
Ms. Melanie M. Block 09/17/2015 100.00
Mr. Stephen A. Denniston 09/17/2015 3.00
*** Total Gifts: 2,720.08

Grants Listing:
Grantee Date Amount
Ravenna Public Schools 04/30/2015 1,800.00
Ms Helana R. Nerli 07/08/2015 1,000.00
Ms Kenna V. Botten 07/08/2015 500.00
Ms Grayson E. Hall 07/08/2015 1,000.00
Ms Lindsey Jacobs 07/23/2015 1,000.00
Ravenna Public Schools 08/06/2015 2,000.00
Ms Tyra L. Jonas 08/27/2015 500.00
*** Total Grants: 7,800.00

The grant date listed above is the date of the board confirmation of your grant recommendations. You may have recommended grants that are not yet confirmed by the board.

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

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.

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