Morenci Education Foundation observes five-year anniversary 8.1

Written by David Green.

Five short years have passed since Bill Van Valkenburg started rounding up prospective board members for a new foundation.

The group was to be called the Morenci Education Foundation and its primary focus would be toward giving classroom teachers a financial boost to help with special projects.

At the same time, a scholarship fund would be established to benefit Morenci Area High School graduates continuing their education.

A group of community leaders joined Van Valkenburg and met for the first time Aug. 1, 2002. With the help of board trustee Dan Bruggeman, the Morenci Education Foundation (MEF) received official recognition by the State of Michigan in November of that year and received non-profit corporation status by the Internal Revenue Service the following February.

Since then, it’s been nothing but onward and upward for the group, as dozens of mini-grants and scholarships worth about $50,000 have been given.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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