Donors help fund mini-grant program 2012.12.19

Written by David Green.

andi.singersBy DAVID GREEN

When former Morenci resident Mary Jane (Borton) Dopp saw the plea for help in the Observer, the choice was obvious. She went with the music project.

Morenci Education Foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg let readers know a few weeks ago that funds for the Foundation's mini-grant program were thin this year because the source of cash ended when the group's annual golf tournament came to a halt.

He invited area residents to fill the funding gap by making donations, and he listed the requests for projects made by Morenci teachers.

"I just knew I needed to do something when I saw the story in the paper," Dopp said.

Her long-time interest in music led to a donation to Andi Rorick's class at the elementary school. Mrs. Rorick sought donations to buy a series of CDs that present a musical method of helping students memorize a variety of facts, such as counting by sixes, by sevens, by eights, etc., and learning to count the value of coins.

Think about the lyrics to a song that you know well, she said. It becomes second nature, and it can work the same way with information learned in school.

"They really respond well to music," she said. "It is so fun to see them apply what they learn through the song to get a math problem correct."

Mrs. Rorick said she was both surprised and appreciative to receive the donations.

"We are in an economic crunch and it is heart-warming to know people were willing to donate," she said. "My students and I wrote sincere thank you letters to all three women."

In addition to Dopp's donation, money came from two others with an interest in music: Morenci graduate Dolores (Sell) Wurst and Sybil Diccion. Diccion is the only one who lives in Morenci and arrangements were made for her to come to the class and listen to the kids perform. She also agreed to sing to them.

"When I told the kids that Mrs. Diccion would be coming to hear them sing and sing for them, you would have thought I told them they were going to Disney World," Mrs. Rorick said.

The visit took place last Thursday.

"They gave Sybil many sweet compliments and hugs," said Mrs. Rorick. "Hopefully the other two donors can come and visit sometime soon."

That sounds good to Dopp.

"They are great kids," she said. "I would love to meet them all some day."

Success

"Our first effort was somewhat successful," said Bill Van Valkenburg. "Donations combined with resources we already had in our mini-grants fund made it possible to award all requests."

Two donors specified their gift to go toward Mrs. Kelly Bush's CD players and two others were combined to cover the cost of supplies for Mr. Dan Hoffman's Project Lead the Way engineering project at the middle school.

Another donor directed funds to Mrs. Natalie Zuvers's fourth grade science supplies request.

"I think the results were satisfactory enough that we will do this again," Bill said. "Our hope is to resurrect the golf tournament next summer, but because of the generosity of the Morenci community, we were able to cover all requests."

He's seeking grants from another foundation to cover the cost of three expensive requests for audio projection systems and an interactive whiteboard. 

"It always feels good to be able to help teachers in their classrooms," he said. "I just wish we had more resources available so we could do more."

The Foundation recently received an anonymous $10,000 gift from a Morenci alumnus that was placed in the Morenci Schools Legacy Fund—now standing at $40,000. Interest earned from the fund will be used to address major projects or needs of the district, Van Valkenburg said.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016