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.