Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2013 President’s Annual Report

A summary of the 2013 Hamilton County School Foundation year indicates a year of success and gratitude made possible by so many generous donations and the dedicated effort of the Foundation Directors—past and present.  Approximately 90 memberships were received totaling $10,680 from businesses, organizations, and primarily individuals (which largely included a husband and wife).  Total estimated membership is approximately 200 individuals.  Additional receipts were also received as memorial donations and from the annual dinner held in October.

In discussions with the school district administration, the Foundation Directors determined that the most effective investment for the students of the school district was to commit $20,000 with guarantees from the 4 attendance centers that they would raise matching funds to be spent towards technology upgrades (mostly smartboard technology) in the classrooms.  This was accomplished over the course of the year with funds distributed as follows: Jr./Sr. High--$8,000; East Side Elementary--$8,000; Dahlgren Elementary--$3,000; and the Pre-School--$1,000.  These funds, matched by the buildings and thus totaling an investment in technology upgrades of $40,000, were given based on per capita enrollment in each building.

Sincere gratitude was extended to Mike Karcher and Kathy Pryer (whose terms expired) and Karen Rapp (who resigned due to family obligations) for all their time commitment over the years.  Mike had served as the first and only Foundation president from the inception of the Foundation’s formation and was instrumental in continually striving to create the successful organization it has become in the enhancement of Hamilton County Schools.

In 2013, the school district instituted payroll deduction as an option for staff and several new memberships were acquired.  Additionally, the Directors changed the Annual BBQ  to an Annual Dinner, held on October 19, with a full course meal of grilled pork chops and all the fixins.  Director Ryan Nelson acquired over 30 signed books from Southern Illinois/Ilinois authors and raised $580 in the silent auction.  About 135 tickets were sold for the event, with entertainment provided by the High School Band and local music talent: Chris Richards.  A thanks was also extended to the high school civics students in attendance that served as waiters at the dinner.

Scholarship recipients for 2013 from scholarships that the Foundation administers were:

17th  annual Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship—Emily Lueke & Tyler Cross
8th  annual Karen Combs Memorial Teaching Scholarship—Adam Cross
5th annual Dick Weinmann Memorial Scholarship—Emily Lueke
3rd annual Lewis and Mary Kay Reed Scholarship—Kaela Kiefer

Directors include:

Vince Mitchell, President                               Lovella Craddock, Vice President
Bobbin Lasater, Secretary                               Pat Woley, Treasurer
Krystal Donelson, New Director                    Diane Kunkel, New Director
Lisa Fetcho, Director                                      Ryan Nelson, Director
Mary Stephens, Director
Jeff Fetcho, Director & School Superintendent        

 

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2011 President’s Annual Report


In 2011 the first project supported was the installation of Smartboards at the East Side Grade School. The Foundation matched $7500 raised by the PTA. Also $2500 was donated to the Dahlgren Grade School to update their computer lab.

In May the 6th annual Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship and the 15th annual Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Kelsey Campbell Klein. In addition the 3rd annual Dick Weinmann Memorial Scholarship was presented to Natalie Anselment. In February, the Foundation was chosen to administer the Lewis and Mary Kay Reed scholarship and the 1st such scholarship was awarded to Clinton Hopfinger.

The Foundation by-laws were revised to increase the maximum number of board members from 9 to11.and in August Jeff Fetcho and Pat Woley were added as new members.

The Foundation’s 8th Annual Homecoming Barbeque was held on November 5, 2012. Brandtlee Brown, Caitlyn Luckett and Jump, Leap & Tumble provided entertainment. Over 150 people attended and over 250 donors during the previous year were recognized in the program.

As the year ended plans were being made to erect an electronic informational sign at the Junior/Senior High School in memory of Rodney Rubenacker, former Unit 10 School Board member.


Michael C. Karcher, President
Hamilton County Schools Foundation

 

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2010 President’s Annual Report

 In January 2010 grant applications were distributed throughout all the schools. Fifteen projects were submitted to the Foundation for funding. After evaluation by the whole board twelve projects were funded with a total expenditure of $9,000.

 Projects funded were:

  • To Infinity and Beyond – East Side Grade School

  • School Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support – East Side Grade

  • Accelerated Reader Tests and Books – Dahlgren Grade School

  • Life Long Learner’s Library – Dahlgren Grade School

  • Play/Work/Socialize after school program – Dahlgren Grade School

  • Striving for Excellence – Pre-School

  • Books for 7-12 Library – Junior/Senior High School

  • Portable Projection Station - Junior/Senior High School

  • Portable Projection Station - Junior/Senior High School English Department

  • Portable Projection Station - Junior/Senior High School Math Department

  • Science Calculators - Junior/Senior High School

  • Glass Tools - Junior/Senior High School Art Department

Other Foundation activities continued as well. In May the 5th annual Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Juliana Karcher, the 14th annual Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Logan Frymire and the 2nd annual Dick Weinmann Memorial Scholarship was presented to Logan Karcher. The Foundation also continued work with the Track Renovation Committee with plans made to install concrete sidewalks from the ticket booth and concession stand.

The Foundation’s 7th Annual Homecoming Barbeque was held on October 1st with 117 tickets sold. Ideas were discussed for future projects including Smartboard systems for grade school classrooms.

 Michael C. Karcher, President

 Hamilton County Schools Foundation

 

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2009 President’s Annual Report

Calendar year 2009 saw the continued construction of the Dick Weinmann Memorial tennis and basketball courts at the Junior/Senior High School. In 2009 the basketball goals were purchased and erected and the Deco Turf coating installed as well as the tennis stands and nets. On July 3rd the dedication of the Dick Weinmann Memorial Courts was held. Attending the dedication were members of the Weinmann family and representatives of the numerous community groups that benefited from Dick’s estate including the Boy and Girl Scouts, Hamilton County 4-H Clubs, McCoy Memorial Library, Saddle Club, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church – Piopolis, St. Clement’s Catholic Church – McLeansboro, Kids Kingdom, City of McLeansboro, Teen Center, Dolan Lake, Hamilton Memorial Hospital, Track Renovation Committee, Dahlgren PTO and the Chamber of Commerce.  A dinner for the Weinmann family and friends was held that evening at the Horseless Carriage Restaurant.

Meanwhile other Foundation activities continued as well. In May the 4th annual Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Kaitlin Webb and the 13th annual Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Trudy Luffman.  In addition the 1st annual Dick Weinmann Memorial Scholarship was presented to Bethany Anselment. The Foundation also continued work with the Track Renovation Committee, using the Foundation’s 501(c)(3) status as a conduit for tax-deductible donations. Also membership renewals and appeals to Hamilton School alumni continued to be sent.

The Foundations 6th Annual Homecoming Barbeque was held on September donation was made to the Wellness Conference scheduled for February 2010 and plans were made to request proposals for teacher-initiated projects in 2010.

Michael C. Karcher, President

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2008 President’s Annual Report

Calendar year 2008 saw the continued construction of the tennis and basketball courts at the Junior/Senior High School. By Jan 30th the Wayne White Electric Co-operative had erected the light poles. In March work on court fencing and lighting also resumed and plans for a Community Celebration commemorating the completion of the courts began. By mid-April the lighting was finished and the green vinyl-coated fencing was erected. By the end of April the Deco-Turf coating was installed and the courts were completed and ready for use.   A date of May 31st was set for the Grand Opening Celebration of the courts. Activities that day included live music, free tennis rackets to all children12 and under, long shot basketball contest and exhibition tennis matches presented by the World Team Tennis Kansas City Explorers. Mel Launius, McLeansboro High School alumnus and owner of the Kansas City Explorers brought in the players and donated the free tennis rackets.

Also attending was Jerry Sloan representing the Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand-in-Hand Foundation and members of the Hamilton County Telephone Co-op Foundation. These two Foundations donated $50,000 each toward the total cost of $130,000 for the courts.

That evening members of the Hamilton County Telephone Co-op Foundation, Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand-in-Hand Foundation, Hamilton County Schools Foundation and Kansas City Explorers organization enjoyed a dinner at the Horseless Carriage.

At the May 31st celebration an exciting announcement was made. The Richard C. Weinmann Trust announced that the Trust was donating $100,000 toward the construction of a second set of tennis courts. Furthermore a donation of $30,000 was to the Foundation to fund an annual scholarship in memory of Dick Weinmann. In addition to these direct donations to the Hamilton County Schools Foundation, the trust made donations to McCoy Memorial Library, the Teen Center , Chamber of Commerce, Saddle Club, Race to the Finish track project and Boy and Girl Scouts. These donations were made through the Hamilton County Schools Foundation, and then forwarded to the various recipients because of the Foundation’s 501c(3) tax-exempt status. 

Meanwhile other Foundation activities continued as well. In May the 3rd annual Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Jayla Stephens and the 12th annual Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Cameron Frey.Mary Little replaced Blair Combs on the Foundation Board and Ryan Nelson was added as an additional member. Also membership renewals and appeals to alumni continued to be sent.

On June 26th 2008 exactly one year from the first groundbreaking, the Dick Weinmann Memorial Courts were staked and work began. Final specifications for the project were the same as for the first set of courts included a high green vinyl coated fence around all courts, high-mast timer controlled lighting and Deco- turf coating of the asphalt-based courts. The Foundation Board decided to add basketball courts to the Weinmann Memorial tennis courts to complete the project envisioned 2 years ago. By October 4th, the date of the 5th annual Foundation Barbeque, the asphalt had been laid, lights and poles ready for setting and fencing ordered.

As a final touch on an exciting year, at its annual meeting, the Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce honored the Hamilton County Schools Foundation with its 2008 Community Service Award for outstanding community service.

Michael C. Karcher, President

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2007 President’s Annual Report

Calendar year 2007 began with the development of cost projections, site design, fund raising and community involvement in the Foundation’s plan to construct tennis and basketball court at the Junior/Senior High School. Due to costs involved it was decided to initially build 2 tennis courts and 1 basketball court. Committees for fund raising, public relations and construction were organized that included Foundation Board members and additional community volunteers.

On April 19th 2007, the Foundation Board and project committee members met to formally announce to the public the need for and the benefits of constructing tennis and basketball courts in Hamilton County. At that meeting it was announced that the Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand in Hand Foundation would match up to $50,000 in contributions to the project. With that announcement and the excitement created from it, the committees began their work.

Meanwhile other Foundation activities continued as well. In May the 2nd Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Kent Kiefer and the 11th Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Lindsay Meadows. Also membership renewals and appeals to Hamilton County School alumni continued to be sent.

In early June another exciting development occurred. The Hamilton County Telephone Co-op Foundation Board expressed interest in the tennis and basketball court project. After a joint meeting with members of the Hamilton County School Foundation and the Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand in Hand Foundation, the Hamilton County Telephone Co-op Foundation Board decided to donate the entire $50,000 in matching funds toward the project. With $100,000 in funds now available construction was scheduled to begin.

On June 26th ground was broke. A diverse group of community volunteers were present to help with equipment and expertise. Local governments participating included the Hamilton County Board, McLeansboro Township and City of McLeansboro. Conquest Construction also provided men and equipment. Final specifications for the project included a 10' high green vinyl coated fence around all courts, high-mast timer controlled lighting and Deco- turf coating of the asphalt-based courts. Many other volunteers and contributors also joined the effort including the Peoples National Bank with a $10,000 donation and the Wilson family with a $5000 donation.

Work continued through July and August. By the end of August, the asphalt was laid, and the fencing, basketball goals and light poles were ordered and a contract signed for the final surface coating and setting of the tennis court nets. A delay in receiving the lights and inclement weather prevented setting of the light poles. A decision was made to delay putting up the fence, basketball goals and final surface coating until the light poles were in place. It would be 2008 before the first tennis match in Hamilton County in many years would be held.

Michael C. Karcher, President

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2006 President’s Annual Report

As 2006 began, informing the Foundation members and the public about the Foundation’s decision to construct tennis and basketball courts, supply a computerized card catalog system for the Junior/Senior High Library, build a pavilion for meetings at the athletic field and supply an electronic message board for the new school became a priority. Membership renewal letters and invitations to alumni specifically requested funds for these projects and Foundation Board members attended community meeting to inform the public about these projects.

In May of 2006 the first Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Miranda Hathaway and the10th Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Brittany Lynn, marking the first time this scholarship was granted under Foundation auspices. These $1000 scholarships are awarded annually to seniors at Hamilton County High School.

In July planning for the Foundation’s 3rd annual Homecoming Barbeque began. In August the Foundation Board met with alumnus Mel Launius, owner of the World Team Tennis Kansas City Explorers. He expressed support for the basketball and tennis court project, offering to donate tennis rackets and balls to all Hamilton County youth 12 and under and bring members of his team to play on the new courts once they are completed. In September at the Homecoming Barbeque it was announced that the Foundation was purchasing a Dynix computerized card catalog system for the Junior/Senior High School libraries. Kenneth Kirkpatrick, Librarian, remarked while accepting the gift, “As long as we have dreamed of automating our school libraries, it would have been years before we could actually done so had it not been for the generosity of the Hamilton County School Foundation and its supporters. This gift will impact all of our students for many years to come.”

Having accomplished the first of the four identified project goals, efforts were directed toward the next designated project, construction of lighted basketball and tennis courts at the Junior/Senior High School Projects. By year end a site was selected south of the school near the Bear Creek Arboretum. A site plan was designed and cost estimates were being obtained. The stage was for an exciting 2007.

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2005 President’s Annual Report

Calendar year 2005 was the Foundation’s third full year of service and work. At the January Board meeting 5 teacher-initiated grants were funded. Projects funded were ceramic class pottery wheels, a Scholastic Bowl buzzer system, Handwriting Without Tears materials for pre-school students, a digital camera and printer dock, and a $500 grant to restore copies of classic novels to the Junior/Senior High School libraries.

Throughout the year efforts to increase public awareness of the Foundation and to increase membership and participation continued. Mailing of brochures and letters of invitation to High School graduates continued. Individual Board members attended class reunions to promote the Foundation and its mission. As a part of the effort to increase public awareness and participation the Foundation’s Board was increased in size from 5 to 8 with the addition of Kathy Pryer, Karen Rapp and Mary Stephens. Also joining the Foundation Board was Blair Combs. He replaced Randy Kirsch as Treasurer when Randy had to resign due to his election to the Unit 10 School Board.

The Foundation assumed two important responsibilities in 2005. The Foundation was honored to assume the ownership and administration of the Brian Lasater Memorial Scholarship fund and the Karen Combs Memorial Scholarship fund. These funds provide annual scholarships to graduates of Hamilton County High School.

The Foundation's Second Annual Homecoming Barbeque was held September 24, 2005 and three additional grants were awarded that night. Projects funded were for the purchase of classroom scientific calculators, continued support for the Handwriting Without Tears program and materials for the integration of Language Arts and technology.

At the years end the Board decided to focus future fund raising efforts on 4 specific projects. These projects were lighted tennis and basketball courts at the Junior/Senior High School, a picnic/meeting pavilion at the athletic complex, an electronic message sign at the High School and an electronic card catalog system for the Junior/Senior High School libraries.

  Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2004 President’s Annual Report  

Calendar year 2004 was the Foundation's second full year of operation. Early 2004 activities continued previous efforts directed at informing the public about the Foundation and its purpose. A brochure explaining the need for the Foundation and incorporating a three-tiered membership application was developed and the first 1000 were printed in March. The brochure was used to recruit members and solicit donations through direct mailings to civic organizations and McLeansboro High School alumni.The first 1000 brochures were mailed to prospective supporters and another 1000 were printed in July. Envelopes to be used for memorial donations were also developed, printed and distributed to area funeral home directors.

A goal of having an annual event was set and realized through the Foundation' First Annual Homecoming Barbecue. Held in the Old High School gymnasium in conjunction homecoming activities, it featured dinner, entertainment and a trivia contest. At the dinner five $250 teacher initiated awards were announced. Membership at the September 17th event totaled 67, including 3 Silver Fox and 7 Red Fox members. 

At the end of 2004 another round of grant applications were under consideration. Mailings to high school alumni continued, membership renewal letters were being prepared, a database for members was being developed and a way to recognize significant contributors was under study. The membership level continued to grow reaching 80 by the end of 2004.

Michael C. Karcher, President

Hamilton County Schools Foundation

P.O. Box 369

McLeansboro IL 62859

2003 President’s Annual Report

Calendar year 2003 marked the first full year of the Hamilton County Schools Foundation’s existence. The Foundation’s organizational meeting was held on October 22, 2002 with the incorporating directors of Lovella Craddock , Virginia Lasater, Michael C. Karcher, Randy Kirsch and Vince Mitchell present. The Foundation was established as an Illinois Charitable Organization exempt from federal income taxes under IRS code 501(c)(3). At the first meeting articles of incorporation and bylaws were approved and lots drawn for officers. Initial officers were Michael Karcher, President; Lovella Craddock, Vice-President; Randy Kirsch, Treasurer; and Virginia Lasater, Secretary.

At the second meeting in March 2003 the Foundation's mission and purpose statements were approved. The Foundation's mission, as approved, is to promote and enhance the education of present and future students of Hamilton County schools. The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage voluntary financial support from the community, individuals, businesses, organizations and alumni for the benefit of Hamilton County students.

Initial Foundation efforts centered on the need to inform the public of the Foundation’s existence and purpose and to solicit input from the public. Ads were placed in the McLeansboro Times-Leader and survey forms distributed. Other projects began included brochure development and compiling a mailing list consisting of High School graduates and community organizations.

The Foundation’s first fund raising event was held at the auction of the McLeansboro High School contents on July 12, 2003 . Food and drinks were sold to auction attendees. Another means of funding Foundation efforts was the establishment of annual membership contributions. Members joining from the Foundation’s establishment until the September 26th Homecoming Football game were entered in a drawing for a dinner and night’s lodging at Rend Lake Resort.  Informational booths were held at the Homecoming game as well as at the 2003 Fall Festival and home basketball games.

In October 2003 with money from membership contributions and the auction fundraiser, teacher initiated grant projects were solicited. Three of six applications were approved and funded. Winning applications were “Baby Think It Over” used to purchase a baby manikin displaying fetal alcohol syndrome; “The House that Math Built” that purchased construction design computer software; and “Art-Video Converter” that purchased computer hardware to allow computer presentations to be viewed on overhead TV screens.

At the end of 2003 the Foundation had grown to 40 members. Major works in progress were brochure development, mailing list compilation, membership communication and membership recognition.

Michael C. Karcher, President