Archive for Thursday, February 3, 2005

Governor to speak at foundation event

February 3, 2005, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: February 3, 2005, 9:19 a.m.

Lansing Educational Foundation's first major fund-raiser takes place Friday with a breakfast that features a speech by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. in the Lansing Middle School commons. Sebelius is scheduled to speak at 7:30 a.m., after short remarks by Randal Bagby, schools superintendent, and Kyle Kelley, president of the foundation.

Norma Hoagland, a foundation member, said Sebelius would address education in her 15-minute speech. Hoagland said the foundation hoped the governor also would discuss the state of school finance in Kansas.

"We're hoping she'll talk about the latest update that the Legislature has come up with," Hoagland said. "We've sent her some information about what an excellent school district Lansing is, despite funding challenges. So I think she's going to be appreciating what an excellent district we have."

After the speech, the foundation will recognize some of the district's outstanding students.

Foundation director Mary Alice Schroeger said she expected 250 people to attend, with fewer than 20 tickets still available Wednesday. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by anyone.

The foundation began work months ago to get Sebelius to talk in Lansing. In September, foundation members had approached and been granted approval by the governor's office. In October, they filled out the necessary paperwork and began work on organizing catering, guest lists and location.

The foundation was started in June, though it had been in the works for two years. Its mission is to provide financial support for Lansing schools.

"What we're looking forward to most is to offer the funds we're able to raise to the teachers in our district," Hoagland said of the Foundation's longer-term goals. "We'd love to be able to have a form that teachers can fill out for materials they need in the classrooms or money for a field trip. They would then pass those requests to us. That's going to be great fun and very satisfying to all of us."

Lansing Educational Foundation is part of the larger Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. In its vision statement, Lansing's foundation states that it hopes to foster community-and-school collaborations.

"We intend to begin work on some other fund-raisers as soon as we get this one under our belts," Hoagland said.

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