Education Foundation for Bend-La Pine Schools Marks 30th Anniversary with Free Community Celebrations


On Friday, September 14 from 4:30-8pm, the Education Foundation for Bend-La Pine Schools will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding with a special community event hosted by Avid Cider Co. and Immersion Brewing and sponsored by Les Schwab Tires & Hayden Homes at the Box Factory. The event is free and will feature music, festivities and food and beverage for purchase. Proceeds from the event will be directed to the establishment of a Classroom Grants endowment to benefit future requests.

“Being former teachers and as parents to young Bendites, education is very important to us at Avid Cider Co. With this event, we want to bring attention to the great work and contributions of the Education Foundation,” said Sam McCoy, owner Avid Cider Co. and board member.

Additionally, 10 Barrel Brewing (Westside) is honoring the Foundation as the “Charity on Tap” for September, and is hosting a pint night on Tuesday, September 25. Lilian Chu’s new Poke Row restaurant in NorthWest Crossing is donating a portion of September proceeds to the Foundation in celebration as well.

The Education Foundation was founded in 1988 to support K-12 education in Bend, La Pine and Sunriver. Over the past 30 years, many Bend business and community leaders have served in various capacities on the Board of Directors, each contributing to the impact that the Foundation has made in public schools and on behalf of students. The organization provides funding and resources to educators and schools for classroom grants not funded by the District.

Since 1988, over $1.5 million has been invested into Bend-La Pine schools and students through the programs of the Foundation: innovative Classroom Grants (STEM, art, music and wellness); Activity Fee Scholarships for middle & high school students served under the Free & Reduced Meals program; Perseverance Awards for students who over difficult life obstacles to graduate and have future academic or trade school plans; and in 2018, Latino Scholarships in collaboration with Central Oregon Latino Partnership Program and the Oregon Community Foundation. Just as it was in 1988, the Foundation’s mission is to prepare the over 18,300 Bend-La Pine and Sunriver students for success and the future through exceptional educational and extra-curricular activities.

In honor of the Foundation’s 30 years of service to the K-12 educational community a new logo and brand identity is being unveiled. Board members Lis Thomas and Dave Beltramini said “Our new logo represents the integrity, mission and values of the Foundation. We are a dedicated group of parents, educators, business owners and professionals. We care about the health and wellbeing of each child in the Bend-La Pine School District. This logo reflects our bond to the very unique area in which we live and we believe this logo does that quite well.”

For the 2018-19 school year, the Foundation awarded over $89,000 in classroom grants. Since 2003, the Foundation has helped over 5000 middle & high school students served under the Free & Reduced Meals program to participate in after-school athletics which averages $40,000 yearly. More recently the Foundation provides Perseverance Award scholarships to graduating seniors and Latino scholarships.

Wendy Graunitz, Education Foundation president and Assistant Manager of OnPoint Community Credit Union said “As a Foundation we focus our support on increasing innovative learning for all K-12 students with emphasis on high-need schools within our District. Our programs help educators engage and better prepare students for the demands of college and today’s job market. We believe our business community also benefits as more investors and companies are attracted to the area and seek qualified employees. The Education Foundation is proud to make a strong impact and build lasting relationships with our community partners and members and we are grateful for the insight and ingenuity of our board members and the support of our donors during the past 30 years.”

To donate to or more information on the Education Foundation, contact Executive Director Michelle Johnson at or 541-355-5660.


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