Niles Education Foundation to honor Niles High School graduate

NILES — A Niles High School graduate will be honored by the Niles Education Foundation at its sixth annual “Legendary Evening” fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 9 at the newly renovated Fifty5 at the Grand LV on N. Third St.

The NEF Board of Trustees made its selection of the honoree with input from faculty, administrators and suggestions from the public based on a criterion of “making a difference” in the Niles community and around the world. 

The foundation will honor Viking Jane Brandstatter. 

Jane Brandstatter

Jane is a 1980 graduate of Niles High School.  After graduation, Jane continued her education at Kalamazoo College where she received a bachelor of arts in psychology.

Brandstatter is a member with the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.  Brandstatter has been on the board for more than 25 years and was the first female board president at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA. 

She serves as the chairperson of Hope Grows, a collaboration between the YMCA of Southwestern Michigan and Spectrum Health Lakeland.  Hope Grows raises funds to support the LIVESTRONG at YMCA for cancer recovery and cancer support services at the Marie Yeager Cancer Center. 

Brandstatter is also a trustee with the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and a board member and volunteer of Niles-Buchanan Meals on Wheels.

Education is very important to Brandstatter, she was the coordinator of the learning center and writing center at Southwestern Michigan College before retiring in 2016.  Brandstatter was also one of the founding members of the Niles Education Foundation in which she served in various leadership positions including President.

Brandstatter said she has a strong sense of community and giving back.

“I guess I never questioned ‘not’ being involved — it was just a given,” she said. “I can’t imagine not being involved.” 

Peg Maiers, president of the Niles Education Foundation, said she is thrilled to recognize someone who devotes time, talent and compassion.

“This year’s Exemplary Viking contributed greatly to that need in diverse and impactful ways, and we’re very proud to have the opportunity to recognize Jane at this special event,” she said.

Legendary Evening helps raise funds to enhance and enrich learning opportunities for students. The Niles Education Foundation raises money each year to acquire and grant resources exclusively in support of the Niles Community Schools for programs and projects suggested by teachers and administrators. Since its establishment in 2009, the Niles Education Foundation has impacted more than 6,000 Niles Community students and invested more than $200,000 for the enhancement of public education at Niles Community Schools. 

Tickets to the “Legendary Evening” are $35 per person, which include Taste of Niles buffet, entertainment, a silent auction and a cash bar.

Prospective attendees can contact Niles Community Schools at (269) 683-6662 or nileseducationfoundation.org, or they can contact the Niles Education Foundation at (269) 683-0732.

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