As I think about the past 18 months, I feel that every individual, organization and business has been challenged to become more flexible, adaptable and change due to the conditions that developed during this time period. We have all been challenged with the global Coronavirus pandemic and the national outrage at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We have seen Lakeshore Public Schools develop a Virtual Learning Center, social distancing requirements, masking requirements and a contact tracing protocol. The Board of Education has developed and publicly announced a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) statement. I feel that our culture has been forever changed by these events. Change may be difficult, but the forward progress that comes out of this evolution will make us all more aware and resilient.
As such, the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation (LEF) has attempted to be flexible and adaptive to these changing conditions. Several examples of these changes include:
- Conducted our foundation business using Google Meet. Our board had always met in person for our monthly meetings.
- Provided an option to suspend Lancer Leader contributions for 2020 due to the business conditions.
- Suspended our traditional fundraising actions (Online Auction and Golf Scramble) due to the business conditions caused by the Coronavirus.
- Developed an additional fundraiser (Cash Raffle) when faced with the suspension of our traditional fundraisers.
- Evaluated and approved the financial support for a HVAC Program, as the trades curriculum becomes increasingly more important versus the traditional college prep.
- Implemented social distancing and a boxed food option, so that we could safely host our LEF Golf Scramble in 2021. We thank this community for the great support and participation that enabled this event to become the most financially successful golf outing that we have ever conducted, raising approximately $30,100. (As a side note, our most successful fundraiser was the presentation by Navy Seal Rob O’Neil that netted some $96,000 in 2015.)
- Instituted a public commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion(DEI). Please see page 4 of this publication regarding additional information about how LEF is approaching DEI.
- Another challenge for our LEF Board’s flexibility and adaptability will be the change in Superintendents, as Phil Freeman retires and Greg Eding becomes our new school administrative leader. Phil certainly took the educational experience at Lakeshore to a higher level. However, we look forward to working with Greg to dream, think and execute projects that further enhance educational excellence across our school district.
As you can see, these examples reflect a tremendous amount of change, which everyone has and continues to deal with. However, there continues to be one important area that remains unchanged … our Lakeshore School system receives less funding than 80% of the other public schools in Michigan. This is measured on a revenue per student metric, and has been a constant for the past several years. As such, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to create an educational experience that is well above average for our students. We will continue to rely on the support of our generous community.
To our Lancer Leaders ($1,000 or more per year contribution), we say a very sincere thank you.
To those of you who are not contributors to the LEF, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this tax deductible, charitable donation option with you. We all have limited funds for discretionary contributions, but this is a great investment in our kids and their education. Please give me a call (269) 921-2513 or send me an email … firstname.lastname@example.org … and let’s talk!
J.C. Anderson, LEF Chairman