By Rhea-Frances Tetley – Staff Writer
Rim Educational Foundation (Rim Ed) is designed to raise money and donate it to the schools to fund such useful and needed programs such as AVID (Advancement Via Independent Determination) and ROP (Regional Occupational Program) and CTE (Career Technical Education) which support other educational programs for Rim Schools and their students. On Sunday, over 100 Rim Ed supporters gathered for their annual fundraiser, this year’s theme being ‘Luau at the Lake’ held at the UCLA Conference Center.
They were entertained by the Teananui Polynesian Dance group, which not only entertained by performing traditional Hawaiian and Tahitian dances, but also taught their dancing skills to many of the community leaders who then got up on stage, where they were taught to shake their “coconuts” and “strawberries” and entertain; they also entertained the diners.
There were two guest speakers, both students from Rim High, who have had their lives changed through the AVID and ROP/CTE programs which Rim Ed supports. ROP, which has been transformed through technology into CTE, teaches skills that helps students get into careers. The topics covered by CTE include Game Design, TV-Video Production, Media Arts, Woodworking, Medical Care, Welding Technology, Emergency Medical Responder, Fire Technology, and Automotive Technology.
Rim High senior Isabella Hernandez Marquez spoke on how her Graphic Arts teacher, Mr. Wilson, after she’d had some setbacks in her high school years, inspired her through his graphic arts class, which taught her skills she can use and now she is looking forward to a career in graphic design. To the attendees, she said “Thank you, it is because of people like you who care about students like me that makes it possible to learn skills and encourages us to be successful in our chosen careers.” Rob Wilson, the CTE Graphic Design teacher, later said, “I feel humbled and proud of the CTE Program and tonight seeing so many residents seeing and appreciating the importance of what we are doing is gratifying.”
The other student, Jamyi Boehm, spoke highly of the AVID Program. AVID is an academic support program which trains students how to be successful in school by teaching them organizational and academic skills that not only prepares students for college eligibility, but it also prepares them for college and further life success.
Jamyi spoke to the group with great confidence of the changes that AVID has already made in her life, since she began it in 7th grade. Jamyi, who is now a member of the National Honor Society, had a dream of attending college and through AVID it is now a reality, as she has been accepted and chosen to attend U.C. Riverside.
It was the tour of the colleges that AVID organized that helped Jamyi decide where to attend. The bus trip for the college tour costs $1,000, but by taking the students around to the various California Universities and Colleges, it gives them a chance to see the school campuses and an opportunity to see what students do at college.
Nic Perez then led a reverse auction beginning at $100,000, explaining the entire program would be funded with such a donation with a little left over for next year, since this last year Rim Ed was able to donate $89,000 to the Rim school system for the AVID programs in grades 7 through 12, the school educational grants to the seven schools that support field trips, new technology, equipment and educational programs for students and the ROP/CTE, which provides a variety of hands-on career programs that prepare students by teaching them up-to-date industry skills valuable in school and the workplace.
There were no takers at that donation level, so Dr. Patrick Rains read a letter from a successful first-generation AVID student and cut the donation level by 95 percent, whereas Burrtec stepped up and donated $5,000. Then Cecilia Ponce de Leon donated $3,000, saying that her son was graduating from business school because of the skills he learned in AVID. There were many who volunteered to donate $1,000 including the Conrads, Blue Jay Jazz Festival, Lorna Polley, Allison Banner and Midge Reisman. Bob Gladwell donated $750 and the Mountain Jewish Community, Jim and Marilyn Mays and Capri Realty all donated $500. Many others stepped up and donated $250, $150 and $100. All paid Rim Ed volunteer Jim Grant before they left.
The opportunity drawing for a round of golf at the private Arrowhead Country Club, including a golf cart for four, was won by retired first grade teacher Diane Poarch who taught at Lake Arrowhead Elementary for 38 years.
The evening’s dinner raised over $21,000 for the Rim Ed Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a Tax ID #33-0109403, to donate to support the various school programs. However, if anyone wants to donate or learn more about the wonderful programs that Rim Ed supports, Rim Ed President JoBonita Rains suggests they visit the Rim Ed website at RimEducationalFoundation.org for more details about the many ways Rim Ed is encouraging the educational excellence of Rim students.