Archived Story

‘Starfish Stories’ debuts

Published 6:30pm Monday, December 3, 2012

Dowagiac Union Schools’ 2012-13 mission is “Making a Difference One Student at a Time.”

The Daily News will be teaming with the school district on a weekly feature, “Starfish Stories,” spotlighting an individual or group that makes a difference in our schools or in the community.


Deputy Supt.

As I listened to the delightful squeal of a young child as they glided across the air on the zip line at Amazing Acres last month it dawned on me that the child I was watching had never had that experience.

As I looked around Amazing Acres and I saw and heard children having the time of their life I realized for many of these children it was the first and maybe the only time they have had an opportunity to go to Amazing Acres.

The children then huddled around me anxious to tell me of all about an adventure they were having and then scurried off to have another amazing experience.  The last thing I remember hearing from a child when he got on the bus to return to school was, “This was the best day of my life!”  I would have to say without question, “It matters to this one!”

This is just one of hundreds of mini-grants Dowagiac Foundation has funded.

The foundation is a non-profit group that raises funds and accepts donations to fund special activities and projects.  They fund the senior citizen luncheon each year.  They also fund many special field trips and materials for innovative and special projects. Their biggest fundraiser is the golf outing in June. They also accept memorials and donations.

Dowagiac employees can apply for a mini-grant during two defined times during the school year.  The foundation selects activities or projects that are beyond what students normally get during the school day.

Each year between $10,000 and $15,000 is awarded.  The committee members are Tom Carlson (chair), Dan Leversen, Cathy Rawson, Jane Laing, Terrie Jo Foster, Dave Moran, Martha Hassle and Claudia Zebell.

Special thanks go out to committee members because with their help a child is able to say at the end of a day, “This was the best day of my life!”  They helped make that happen. “It matters to this one!”





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