STEVENSVILLE — Want to drive your favorite exotic car on a real racetrack? Is a trip to Disney World on your list of things to do?
How would you like Michael Lovelace, the keyboardist at Santaniellos, to entertain you at a Saturday evening dinner party?
Then you may want to check out the Lakeshore Excellence Foundation’s silent online auction, which starts at noon today and ends at noon Feb. 9. Proceeds will benefit students and teachers at Lakeshore Public Schools in Stevensville.
To view items and participate, go to www.lefonline.org.
There are more than 100 items being auctioned off, including a catered dinner for eight by Tara Newman of Delicious Deliveries in the home of Nancy and JC Anderson, LEF chairman. There is also a one night stay at a Chicago condo and dinner at several local restaurants, including bread + bar in Benton Harbor, Bistro on the Boulevard in St. Joseph, Texas Corral in Benton Township and Grand Mere Inn in Stevensville.
“We’ve had a lot of very generous donors give us some amazing things to auction off,” Lakeshore Public Schools Superintendent Phil Freeman said.
He said LEF donates about $500,000 a year to the school district to help create programs that otherwise would take a lot longer to implement.
One of the programs is Reading Matters, which helps students learn to read more fluently and to develop a love of reading.
LEF approved a three-year, $300,000 grant for the program, which is in its second year. As part of the grant, LEF donated $3,000 to each elementary classroom and English classroom in sixth- through 12th-grades to build a classroom library.
In addition, Freeman said LEF is sending affected teachers to Columbia University in New York to be trained in Reading Matters.
“There’s no way we could have accomplished all of that without LEF,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent Julie Powell has said that teachers have already seen at least one grade level of reading growth for almost every student.
A few years ago, Freeman said LEF raised $600,000 so the media centers at each school could be renovated, upgrading the furniture and electronic equipment to bring them into the 21st century.
Over the past year, LEF has provided money to upgrade the lights in the Lakeshore High School auditorium and to replace the sound system at the football stadium.
LEF also funds small projects, like donating $8,600 last year for the kitchen cottage at Hollywood Elementary School to be used by the Leader in Me Garden Club.
In addition, LEF has funded visits to the school district by Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor, who was experimented on along with her twin sister at Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland during World War II.
In an email, Anderson stated that LEF holds two fundraisers per year – the online auction and a golf outing in June.
He said LEF attempts to fill the revenue gap because 75 percent of other public schools receive more per student funding than Lakeshore students receive.
In addition to the auction, he said there’s a place to make a donation to LEF.
Contact: lwrege@TheHP.com, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege