Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation received 22 donations worth $20,669

The most recent donor was SJE-Rhombus, which donated to the school district for a mechanical engineering program.

Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation member Sam Rufer (left) and the organization's president, Meg Barker, provided a check to the Detroit Lakes School Board, which was accepted by board Chair John Steffl. The most recent donation came from SJE-Rhombus and totaled $1,800.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — A financial gift from SJE-Rhombus was presented to the Detroit Lakes School Board during its monthly meeting on Monday, May 22.

The Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation presented a $1,800 check to the board that it received from SJE-Rhombus. The Detroit Lakes-based company offers a complete line of sump, effluent and sewage controls for residential and commercial applications.

Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation President Meg Barker explained the donation will go toward providing students an opportunity to learn about mechanical engineering.

Barker noted there were 22 donations made to the Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation fund during the past school year, for a total of $20,669.

Barker reported the number of submissions and the amount donated were “the most” she has seen “since she has been on the board.”


“We kind of went down in 2020 and we’ve been trying to ramp it back up,” she said.

Barker said the funds, overall, go to each of the schools, so learners at all levels benefit from the generosity of the community and business leadership.

According to the Detroit Lakes Public Education Foundation website , the organization “started in 2007 by a group of citizens … who were concerned about the shortage of public school funding.”

The foundation was established to provide additional funding for the district’s students and staff. Donors have included businesses, alumni, school staff, parents, community members and more. With the donations, an endowment fund is able to assist the district with purchases and projects.

“The foundation's intent will be to fund grants based on the annual interest earned on the endowment funds,” the organization’s website states. “An application process has been established, using an advisory council to review requests for grants to enhance educational opportunities for all ages within our community and to encourage creative and innovative educational programs.”

The foundation has raised over $250,000 in permanent funds by soliciting funds directly from the community, the website states, adding donations can be made through West Central Initiative.

In other donations, the school board was informed a total of $3,985 was donated to pay off unpaid lunch accounts. The generosity came from 59 anonymous families, as well as donors: Anna Lassonde, Chad Hagen, Irene Johnson, Jason Teiken, Jay Taylor, Lisa Jasken, Lori Riggs, Matthew Kuizer, Scott and Susan Busker, the Wilke family and William and Rhonda Purington.

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