The Reif Center and ISD 318 Endowment funds are planning a delightful “Mocktail” (non-alcoholic cocktail) reception with elegant finger hors d’oeuvres to support two endowment funds managed through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. The event starts Thursday, March 22, 6 p.m., at the Reif Center with a reception followed by a performance by Sound Exchange, a high-energy a Capella ensemble.
This is a multi-faceted fundraising opportunity to support the Reif Arts Council and District 318 endowments. “Endowments are invested funds that provide for the future of the cause or nonprofit organization they support,” says Chris Fulton, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “By giving to the Reif Center and District 318 endowments, you are supporting the future needs of arts and education in our local community, whatever they may be.”
This particular event raises awareness of what is currently happening at the Reif and with District 318 students. Have you seen the new building improvements? Did you know there are now two theaters? David Marty, Executive Director of the Reif Center spoke about the upcoming event: “We invite everyone to come to the Reif on March 22nd. We will have fun, colorful, nonalcoholic beverages and an array of student projects set up inside the Reif for people to check out. Last year, we had the High Efficiency Car. Oh, and food. We are going to have a lot of really cool hors d’oeuvres!”
For the past 12 years, the Reif Center has been growing an endowment at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. “What I love about the Reif Arts Council Endowment is the effort that goes into the fund each year to grow it to better support the long-range health of our local performing arts scene,” states Fulton. “Of the nearly 140 endowments under our management, the Reif Arts Council Endowment is one that is well positioned to ensure the performing arts stay viable in our region – forever.”
March also marks the 20th Anniversary of the District 318 Endowment.
Originally set up in 1998 to ‘assist and enhance the education of the students in District 318’, the Fund has provided over $300,000 in grants to accomplish that goal. From providing for technology enhancements in the classrooms, to projects and programs for individual classroom needs, the District 318 Endowment Fund is an important source of funding for programs outside of the normal budgeting process for education. This is especially true for unique training opportunities or programs.
“There is a big push for engaging students in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and rightly so,” says Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. “But who is talking about STEAM – including Art in the mix? If we truly want well-rounded students to lead the next generation, they need exposure to a variety of instruction and thinking. That includes art and science. Do you want to get into a discussion about how music is connected with math?”
The District 318 Endowment Fund provides an annual distribution that helps support a variety of unfunded programs. Teachers can apply for grants from the District. With this endowment, educators can enhance their class curriculum today and tomorrow, because endowments are forever.