Connect the community to education.
That was the initial goal of the Foundation's founding board - Lil Buck, Chesley Harris, Carolyn LaBore, Mick Hall, Delinda Korrey, Don Hamil, Mary Smith, James Madison, and Janna Korrey. The group intended to create an organization that bridges the gap between classrooms and our generous community. With only $700 in their initial budget and the help of Superintendent Dr. Keith Christy, the RE-1 Valley Foundation was created.
In its first year, board members undertook the rigorous process of applying for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and set a fundraising goal of $3,850.
Early fundraisers included a color book of Sterling locations being sold to professional offices, a silent auction at Pie and Pops concert at Sterling High each year, and the solicitation of donations from businesses and individuals.
One of the most popular and unique fundraisers - more in public good will than fundraising - was the sale of decorated Christmas trees. The Foundation provided trees to Sterling nonprofits who then decorated the trees which were sold at an auction.
Initial funds raised were used to provide for educational needs and activities outside the district's normal budget that would benefit students. In-kind donations at that time included paper, pencils, computers, desks and other items that could be used in the classroom. One of the first monetary grants allocated included the funding of a hot air balloon visiting the elementary schools. The visit was used to enhance math and science education.
Since that time, that $700 "seed" budget has served as the backbone for an operations and programs fund that helps ensure the longevity of the Foundation. The Foundation has also served as a supporting organization for larger fundraising initiatives and accepted several scholarship funds benefiting RE-1 Valley graduates. Thanks to the efforts of our founding board, our organization still serves as a way to help connect the community to the RE-1 Valley School District.