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Canby Community Kicks Off One-Of-A-Kind Fundraising Effort



Canby Community Kicks Off

One-Of-A-Kind Fundraising Effort


Canby, MN September 9, 2006 — More than 20 years ago, a prominent man in our community, Mr. Paul Ruth had a vision: To create an organization that would encourage future generations to reach for the stars, to strive toward educational excellence. Paul and a core group of people including: Bennie Madsen, Bernie Ailts, Bernard Madsen, Lloyd Kopperud, Fran Beecher, Jody Olson, Millard Hayek, Dr. DT Nelson, and Richard Birk worked to further that vision and established the Blue and Gold Foundation.


Since 1985, Blue and Gold has provided a structure for people to share the blessings of their lives. Over $150,000 has been awarded in scholarships to promote the future success of Canby graduates. Today, Blue and Gold is a committee of volunteers providing oversight for the management and distribution of scholarships. The receipts of Blue and Gold fundraising, donations, and bequests are deposited and invested with three different entities: The First Security Bank of Canby, a local investment advisor, and the Southwest Initiative Foundation.


The Southwest Initiative Foundation provides a number of invaluable services to the volunteers serving on the Blue and Gold committee. It provides technical support, non-profit operation advice, and fundraising strategies. It is a depository with a wide range of investment choices for perpetual endowments. Perhaps the most notable service is the Fund’s 501c3 non-profit tax status allowing donors legal tax credit for gifts of all sizes. The Southwest Initiative Foundation issues tax receipts. The gifts remain under the direct local control of the Blue and Gold Foundation board.


This fall, with the support of the Blue and Gold Foundation, a group of citizens; Diana Anderson, Richard Birk, Jerry Boulton, Loren Hacker, Millard Hayek, Bernard Madsen, Dr. D.T. Nelson, Kelley Nemitz, Jody Olson, Amy Wagner, and Ron Wicklace started a fund raising effort to create a scholarship endowment of $500,000. It is the goal of this group to lead the community in providing the opportunity for every student graduating from CHS to earn a $1,000 scholarship. Each student that successfully completes at least one semester of schooling after receiving his or her diploma from Canby High School would be eligible to apply for the scholarship.


The five major goals of the Canby Community Scholarship Endowment are: First, to honor the commitment of the founders of Blue and Gold by encouraging further education for Canby graduates. By providing an opportunity for each graduate to earn a scholarship, we are setting the expectation for every student to strive toward excellence. 


Second, to build a sense of community for our youth in both the present and the future. For each gift given and each scholarship earned, a compact is built between our youth of today and our community of the future. This compact will extend not only to potential future contributions to Blue and Gold, but to graduates returning to Canby intent on having their children educated in a community honoring that compact.  


The third goal is to attract families to our community and schools. One of the first places new families investigate when relocating is community schools. No stronger message on our shared belief in the power of education can be given to prospective community residents than a scholarship commitment to our children.


Fourth - to contribute to the Canby Community Scholarship Endowment is a long-term investment in the community. Nothing enriches our community more than new residents. Nothing creates greater community pride than the return of our children to their own hometown, because they believe this is the best place in the world to nurture their growing families.


The fifth major goal is to provide positive school communication with school district residents, our neighbors and our alumni to ensure a strong school presence in our community’s future. The promotion of the Canby Community Scholarship Endowment has created a platform to showcase Canby Public Schools’ tremendous successes and amazing potential to the parents of future students. Long known for excellence in education, Canby Public Schools continue to demonstrate this tradition. During the past year, Dr. Joe Nathan in the University of Minnesota’s Rural Minnesota Journal named Canby High School as one of the top 30 most effective high schools in the state of Minnesota in preparing students for post-secondary education. Canby’s Basic Standards Test scores are the highest among neighboring schools, averaging 94% on mathematics, reading and writing tests. The Canby High School Knowledge Bowl team placed in the top ten of all schools in Minnesota. One could go on and on about the multitude of successful programs ranging from our annually state ranked Future City competition to our excellent vocational business, foods, and agriculture teams.


Regardless of whether you call Canby your hometown or you have lived here a large portion of your adult life, it is a place of strong connections with family, friends, and memories of the place you call home. When you invest in the Canby Community Scholarship Endowment you are making a gift to a caring community that helped you or your children get a great start. You’re ensuring that our school and our community will continue to thrive so that future generations will find opportunities here and beyond, and that they might one day make Canby their home. You are making a commitment to Canby, the place you call home. 


For information on how to donate, please contact Superintendent Laura Schuster at (507) 223-2001 or email laura.schuster@canbylancers.org