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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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

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