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Posted on Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation launches second One Million Reasons Campaign, with goal of $1 million for student programs

By Kyle Feldscher

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation will embark on a second attempt to raise $1 million in the 2011 One Million Reasons Campaign to benefit Ann Arbor students.

This is the second year the foundation is trying to raise $1 million to help fund programs that could be affected by budget cuts. Wendy Correll, executive director of the foundation, said fundraisers are looking forward to another successful campaign.

“The inaugural 2010 campaign was a success, with several hundred supporters donating $335,000,” she said in a statement. “This represents more than the educational foundation has ever raised in any annual period.”

The education foundation is an independent community-based nonprofit that helps Ann Arbor Public Schools students by providing support for educational opportunities that cannot be funded through the district's budget.

The district could be in line to take some major hits to the pocketbook during the next few months. Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed budget would also cost the district about $7.7 million, in addition to about $3.8 million in increased retirement costs.

This year’s fundraising campaign is already under way. At the launch of the campaign last week, Janet Fritsch, president of the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop Board of Directors, made the first donation to the 2011 campaign, giving $10,000.

At the same event, the Dykema law firm of Ann Arbor pledged $3,000, and individual donors pledged $8,000.

All proceeds from the 2011 One Million Reasons Campaign will be directed to Ann Arbor schools’ 2011-12 academic year.

The foundation’s board anticipates holding the campaign annually to support innovative programs in public schools, which mirrors efforts around the country, Correll said.

“Ann Arbor is not alone in experiencing significant reductions in funding to K-12 schools,” Correll said. “Education foundations are active locally and across the country.”

Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

I won't give a dime to this group until it stops the nickel=and-dime, cottage-industry giving that results in a little one time project. If you want to fix education, give money to promote big changes, not penny ante ones.

Christy Perros

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 12:55 a.m.

I am a proud financial supporter and Board Member of The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation. The Foundation is transparent regarding our finances. We are in growth mode and are making investments required to grow and to serve the Ann Arbor Public Schools in a more significant way each year. Our website is very comprehensive and includes a portion that is dedicated to the finances of the organization. I encourage you to go this page and learn more as well as download our annual report: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

The annual report does not answer the questions I posed and offers no transparency about finances.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

That's a lame financial report. It doesn't even list total revenue, expenditures or overhead.


Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

What percentage of last year's $335,000 went to Foundation overhead, and how much went to AAPS and for what specific purposes? How many students directly benefited? And last year AAPS donated $10,000 to the Foundation--since the schools are the sole beneficiary of the Foundation and facing major budget cuts, what is the explanation for this contribution?

Alan Goldsmith

Sun, Mar 13, 2011 : 6 p.m.

So, curiously missing from the story, was the issue raised a year ago about money being distributed from the foundation and the actual rather elevated costs the group incurred raising funds. Why wasn't that addressed in this piece? And, why does the institutional memory seem to be non-existent?