Adams Township Schools Foundation changes coming

PAINESDALE – In 2003, the Adams Township Schools Foundation Inc. formed, but in the past three years, its focus has changed, according to Tim Keteri.

Keteri said the foundation formed to give financial support to students.

“In the beginning, it was primarily set up to give scholarships,” he said.

Although the foundation still gives out scholarships, Keteri said a new more general mission has been established.

“That mission is to help with programming in the school,” he said.

To highlight the changes with the foundation, Keteri said there will be a presentation at 7 p.m. today at the Brownstone Hall at 46925 S. Huron St., in Atlantic Mine, by author Steve Lehto, who will talk about his book, “Death’s Door: The Truth Behind the Italian Hall Disaster and the Strike of 1913.” There is a $10 donation to the foundation to see the presentation. Keteri said Lehto will have copies of the book available at the presentation, and he’s donating a portion of the sales to the foundation.

There are five areas of priority with the foundation’s new mission, Keteri said. Those areas are: the schools’ trades program; financing 11 keyboards for the music program; giving financial support for a new art teacher; purchasing books for the K-6 reading program; providing transportation costs and entry fees for students who went to Saginaw for the state History Day finals; the continuation of the scholarship program.

For the 2013 graduating class, more than $100,000 was provided, and in the past 10 years, the foundation has provided $587,000 to Jeffers High School graduates.

Revenue from tonight’s presentation will be used to help fund those programs, Keteri said.

Dr. Frank Rugani, foundation president, said the foundation has more than 100 donors who support the foundation each year. In the past 16 months, $88,000 has come from donors.

“Community involvement has been unbelievable,” he said. “We are very grateful to the alumni of Jeffers High School who have contributed very generously in the past 16 months to help finance (the listed) programs.”

Rugani said some of the larger contributors were John Opie, Paul Karppinen, Jim Anttonen, Mary Bergdahl-Lehto, Lorraine Konosky and Tom Rozich.

Rugani said there are 12 members of the foundation board, and all of them are volunteers.

Keteri said he also appreciates the support from the community for the foundation and for the support of the schools from the foundation.

“The Adams Township School District is indebted to the foundation and its generous donors as they have provided not just financial support for the students within our district, but have provided immeasurable opportunities,” he said.