To All Who Make the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation “Work” …
With the end of the year and my favorite holidays approaching, I thought that it would be appropriate to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to a number of areas that have enabled the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation (LEF) to become an efficient and effective financial supporter for the Lakeshore Public Schools. The various areas are noted below in no particular order since it takes each of these, working together, to enable the effectiveness of the LEF:
During the past several years, we have grown our Lancer Leaders (annual contribution of $1,000+) from none in 2013 to approximately 80 individuals and businesses. It is hard to express in words how grateful I personally am that this face-to-face discussion regarding a contribution to support the school has been successful. In the beginning, we had some doubts that people would listen to a pitch for this kind of support dollars. I have found this community to be a very giving community when it comes to the education of our children. Thank you!
Our local businesses have come to anticipate and openly support two of our annual fundraisers with very generous donations from their business. Items such as a gift basket from Kilwins, a gift card from the Bread+Bar, or a round of golf at Harbor Shores have been used as items up for bid during our annual Online Auction in February or as a raffle ticket item at the Lakeshore Golf Scramble in June. Generous gifts like these have enabled the Online Auction to raise approximately $23,000 and the Golf Scramble approximately $30,000 in net fundraising for the school. Thank you to the generous businesses who support LEF!
Our Lakeshore community has graciously supported our LEF efforts in a number of ways. Whether you are an individual financial contributor, a business owner, or you take part in the Online Auction, participate in the Lakeshore Golf Scramble, our community has been incredibly supportive. Last year we even added our cash raffle where three cash prizes were awarded with only 250 tickets sold to enable us to net approximately $20,000. With gratitude, I hold up the entire Lakeshore community for their participation which is a critical cog in what makes the LEF an effective fundraising organization for the Lakeshore Public Schools. Again, thank you!
I feel that our all volunteer board of 23 individuals is the best LEF board that we have ever assembled! Each member has a special reason why they chose to be on the board and bring a real energy to each meeting. The board makes the face-to-face contribution requests, solicits the businesses for the product donations to use in the Auction and Golf Scramble, organizes the Online Auction and the Golf Scramble, sells 250 tickets for the Cash Raffle, and effectively reviews and selects the grants for the use of $250,000 in grant money that we provide. All of this is done on a volunteer basis and deserves a high five from me for making all of this effectively come together. Thank you!
We are fortunate to live in a community where there are foundations that have been established to support the community and public education of our children. By far, our annual contribution from the Whirlpool Foundation is our largest single contribution. This year the annual golf outing and related fundraising done by Whirlpool for the benefit of this community raised over $2 million, which has been allocated to the Boys & Girls Club, the First Tee, and the three local school foundations of Lakeshore, St. Joseph, and Benton Harbor. We received a check for $250,000 this year, which is the largest ever. Each year, I humbly and graciously accept this check on behalf of the LEF. Being a 39-year Whirlpool employee who retired from the company, it makes me very proud that I worked for an organization that cares and contributes this money to the local community. A very special “thank you” to Whirlpool Corporation! We also receive awards from a couple of other foundations where we must write specific grant applications. This year we are receiving a significant $30,000 grant from the 1st Source Bank Foundation and we receive annual grant monies from the Upton Foundation of approximately $30,000. Thank you to each foundation!
As you can see, LEF would not be successful on our own. Ten years ago this support was approximately $50,000. This recent combination of efforts and generous contributors has enabled the LEF to support the Lakeshore Public Schools with major projects and grants totaling approximately $500,000 annually. Again, I am humbled and very grateful for the support that everyone has provided to LEF and the growth in support of the Lakeshore schools.
With sincere gratitude,
LEF Board Chairman