On October 1, the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation received some truly amazing news: After more than two years of planning, organizing, and hard work, the final donations came in to push the Now&Forever campaign across the finish line.
Together, our community met its goal and raised more than $6.4 million through Now&Forever. This bold, innovative effort creates a sustainable source of funding for our schools. Nearly 900 families, including more than 130 EGRPS staff members, contributed.
“Nothing on the scale of Now&Forever has ever been attempted by a public school district in Michigan,” says Foundation Executive Director, Amy Stuursma. “Raising more than six million dollars in cash pledges was an ambitious goal, but we are very fortunate to live in a city that understands the value of public education. This is a remarkable, community-wide success that will support our students and our schools now and for generations to come.”
Along with $2 million to be raised through planned giving, the funds raised will build the Foundation’s endowment to $12 million. When that number is reached, the growth and investment earnings will generate approximately $600,000 each year to benefit our students and our schools without reducing the principal amount. That means that over the course of students’ thirteen years in East schools--from kindergarten through high school graduation--the Foundation will contribute $7.8 million to their education.
Already, the Foundation funds programs including elementary para-educators, reading support at the Middle School, and management of the Performing Arts Center, along with dozens of enhancement grants for elementary classroom libraries, the Middle School Innovation Lab, the Gone Boarding class at the high school, and much more. Thanks to Now&Forever, our schools will be better prepared to meet whatever challenges the future holds.
“With this campaign, our community has helped secure the future of our schools,” Stuursma says. “We’ll be able to continue to offer educational opportunities we can’t even imagine today. This is a monumental achievement for East Grand Rapids.”