As of December 15, 2014 the Vernonia Alumni Sports Initiative has raised over $75,000 through contributions by 165 alumni. A year-end appeal, mailed on November 24, has generated $16,440 thus far.
One year ago the Sports Initiative had reached the $50,000 level with 130 alumni contributing.
When combined with the Gary Davis Memorial ($4,000), the Class of 73 Give Back Bash ($10,000), the local match for the OSAA grant for the football practice field ($10,000), the Sports Initiative is just shy of $100,000 being contributed for athletic facilities during the past two years.
Many Vernonia Alumni are still connected to their former community, particularly their old school and now the new school.
Jim and Kathy Eckland started The Vernonia Alumni Sports Initiative in October, 2012, to raise funds for the completion of athletic fields and facilities at the new schools. According to Jim Eckland, during the past 15 months over $50,000 has been contributed by 130 Alumni, in amounts ranging from $20 to $10,000.
The VHS Class of 1973 raised over $10,000 at the Give Back Bash
and donated it towards the Alumni Sports Initiative.
In addition, members of the Class of 1973 organized the “Give Back Bash” in early August and donated over $10,000 to the fund. An additional $4,000 was contributed through the Gary Davis Memorial last winter.
With almost $65,000 raised in just over a year, the Vernonia Education Foundation now has enough money set aside to begin work on a softball field at the new school campus later this spring.
Significantly, most of the $50,000 the Ecklands have raised through the Alumni Sports Initiative has come through the hard work and generosity of past graduates. Even more significantly, 98% of those funds were contributed by Alumni who graduated prior to 1975. Read More
This week I felt it would be appropriate to share with you some information about the Vernonia Education Foundation (VEF). The VEF was formed as a 501c3 public charity in 2009 primarily as a vehicle for other foundations, corporations, and businesses to donate to our new schools project when their guidelines would not allow them to donate directly to a school district. The foundation has been growing and changing as we have gained new board members and the school has been completed, but our primary focus has been to provide additional funding for our new schools.
The VEF board is made up of volunteers who want to make a difference in our new schools. Since its inception the VEF has greatly benefited from the efforts and hard work of a number of individuals and groups. You will probably recall some of these events: Vernonia’s Biggest Reunion that was held in 2010 and sponsored by a large group of VHS alumni; the Last Chance Dance, which included a dinner and auction, that was held in 2012 commemorating the closing of WGS and was spearheaded by Bill Langmaid; and more recently the Give Back Bash which featured an Elvis tribute artist and manned by members of the VHS class of ’73 this past August. Read More