The Edmond Sun

June 28, 2013

School foundation grows its membership, funds

Patty Miller
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — The Edmond Public Schools Foundation focused on the individuals and businesses that had a hand in making the 2012-13 school year the busiest it has ever had in terms of fundraising and dispersing monies throughout the year.

From an economic perspective, this year alone the foundation raised $215,000 exceeding its $203,000 goal. More then $1.5 million has been raised for grants to teachers with a goal of $2.5 million to be endowed in the next three years.

“With 30 businessmen and women and members of higher education involved as trustees, we have a dynamic and well-respected group,” said Foundation President Bryan Evans with Evans & Davis law firm.

Evans stepped down as president and passed the job to Brian Blundell with BancFirst to lead the foundation next school year. Marcus Crawford with Crawford Family Funeral will be president-elect, Adam Bahner with Keating and Associates will be treasurer and Gina Yannarell with Koch Communications will be secretary and communications chair.

“This is an impressive group of citizens who care and set Edmond apart in so many ways,” said Edmond Superintendent David Goin. “They help the community of Edmond and Edmond Public Schools in so many ways and with the momentum they have they will be taking the foundation to new heights.”

Three organizations were recognized as Platinum Corporate Donors for their continuing support including Citizens Bank for donating $22,000; Kirkpatrick Bank for donating $18,000 and the OU Medical Center-Edmond for donating $10,000.

Feed the Children was recognized as a Significant In-Kind Donor donating $160,000 in books for the schools to give to their students, some who have never had a book of their own, so they could start building their own libraries.

Ken and Gae Rees, Lifetime Trustees, were recognized for being instrumental in helping start the foundation through their donations and in giving money for a grant to bring Rachel’s Challenge to all of the middle schools last year. Rachel’s Challenge is an anti-bullying program.

Two Memorial High School students were given $2,500 scholarships each to attend the university of their choice. Logan Nelson will be attending Oklahoma State University majoring in marketing, and Natasha Saia will be attending the University of Oklahoma working toward a degree in chemical engineering.

Four new trustees were named including Wes Knight with the Bank of Oklahoma, Jay Corwin with the University of Central Oklahoma, Carl Tipton with MIDCON Data Services and Stuart Graham with CB Richard Ellis.

Foundation Director Bob Ault told the trustees, “I believe in the effect the foundation has in the school district and the effect the district has on the community.”

The foundation, originally founded as the Edmond Educational Endowment, was created in the early 1980s. In 1999 the organization changed its name to the Edmond Public Schools Foundation and since it was first started, has provided more than $1.5 million in direct financial support to the district.

Foundation funds have gone for new technology, classroom curriculum, software, hardware, teaching aids and teacher training, student scholarships, playground equipment, textbooks, supplies, musical instruments, artwork, equipment and teacher awards and rewards, according to its website.

The foundation has placed itself in the position to be audited for the first time, which will allow the trustees to be able to apply for larger grants, Evans said.

Growing its infrastructure has been one of the jobs for the foundation’s trustees this year. Donors can now go to the website to make a donation. The EPS Foundation is a recognized 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization focused on the development and management of resources in support the Edmond Public School District.