Imagine being a high school student with an interest in a subject which may impact your life. The Riverside-Brookfield Educational Foundation recognizes students’ dreams and strives to make it possible for students to further their interests by attending classes, workshops and other learning experiences. 

Those experiences are made possible by funding grants through the foundation’s annual telethon, this year celebrating its 30th year.

In the past, students have attended everything from drum major workshops to an architecture program at IIT, courses in digital photography, foreign language, fine arts, leadership conferences, science and engineering programs and writing workshops to name a few.

Last year, a student attended the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists in Massachusetts, while another attended a National Student Leadership Conference on Nursing at Yale University.

Teachers and staff have also been able to apply for grants related to their areas of study.

In 2018, the RBEF awarded 41 students and teachers grants totaling over $22,000.  The funds were raised through the RBEF’s Annual Telethon, presented by the CME Group. 

The telethon this year is on Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 9 p.m. The live eight-hour presentation can be seen on Comcast Channel 16, AT&T U-verse Channel 99 and online everywhere on

The telethon features live entertainment from the RB school auditorium, including magician and RBHS alumnus Trent James and Katie Hull, an alumna who with her husband, Mike, make up the popular group The Redmonds. Elvis will be in the house when Michael St. Angel brings his show to the stage. The entertainment along with interviews of past grant recipients will continue throughout the day.    

The foundation can be traced back to 1987 when small group of people at the high school and in the community began fundraising efforts. That first year’s receipts were small, but made it possible to purchase some equipment for the English department. 

The original committee could not have imagined how much the foundation would grow and how successful the telethon, which began in 1989, would be. The foundation is managed by a volunteer group, and an army of volunteers will work the telethon — from those in front of the cameras, to those behind the cameras, to those onstage and those backstage, to those on the phone bank who make this all possible.