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.