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New Lakeland Education Foundation Gets Green Light


A new education foundation in the Lakeland area is poised to begin fundraising after the Lakeland Union High School Board of Education Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the district and the foundation.

The legal document prepared by Buelow, Vetter, Buikema, Olson & Vliet, LLC., outlines the relationship between the district and the Lakeland Union High School District Foundation, Inc.

At its core, the MOU says they are two “distinct legal entities, operating independently, under the management and control of different boards.” “The memorandum of understanding, in a general fashion, is meant to be very loosely worded,” said foundation executive director Mike Handrick. “To basically say, let’s work together. You help us, we help you sort of thing.” It gives the charitable organization the right to use the school’s name, logo, trademarks, etc. to raise funds or secure donations “to support programs and projects not affordable through public funds . . . for the benefit of the students of the district.” The district includes four public elementary “feeder” schools.

The district administrator will be a non-voting board member of the foundation, said Handrick. The district administrator’s role will be to keep the foundation board informed of the needs and opportunities to support the district’s students. The school board had heard a detailed presentation before, so members had few questions.

Barb Peck of Presque Isle sought clarification of the clause that gives the foundation “reasonable access to district facilities and events.” Handrick replied with examples of using the commons for a fundraising banquet and being allowed to distribute the foundation’s brochures and flyers at graduation ceremonies. Handrick said their lawyer (used by both parties) expects to file incorporation papers with the state this week. They would then be able to start foundation activities in about two or three weeks pending state approval.

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