When the pandemic struck last year it also struck the plans for many nonprofit organizations and their fundraisers. 

The Riverside-Brookfield High School Educational was affected as it had its annual telethon scheduled and ready to go when it had to be cancelled. Without the telethon, the proceeds which benefited educational opportunities for students and staff at the school would be limited. Grants were provided with existing funds.

In 2021, the foundation has switched gears, looking to continue its mission by raising funds through a raffle instead of a telethon. The raffle, called So Long 2020 Hello 2021, will offer 21 monetary prizes from $50 to the grand prize of $5,000. Prize value is based on the selling of all tickets. 

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from any foundation board member or at Aunt Diana’s Fudge Shop in Riverside or Mary’s Morning Mix-up in Brookfield. Tickets are on sale now. The drawing will be held on April 15 at 5 p.m. and can be viewed live on RBTV or at their website at rbtv.tv.

The foundation has provided numerous opportunities from academic enrichment classes to onsite camps. Last year many of the programs were cancelled since it was not possible to do things in person. Where possible, programs were switched to virtual and online formats. It is anticipated that programs and classes offered this year will follow the same format.

The foundation was formed in 1987 and in 1989 it held its first telethon fundraiser with the cooperation of the media department at the high school under the direction of Gary Prokes. 

The RBEF was revitalized in 2000 when a new board of trustees was assembled. Since that time through successful fundraising, the foundation has provided educational experiences that otherwise may not be possible financially for many of the students. 

It is hoped that this year’s raffle will make it possible to continue providing those experiences. Students are already submitting grant requests to be reviewed by the foundation trustees. Students interested in learning about grants should contact their counselors.

More information on the raffle or about the foundation may be learned by contacting Jim Franko at frankoj@rbhs208.net. This is a win-win for all involved and the raffle will help keep the foundation’s mission continuing until it can again put on the telethon.  

Here’s hoping for 2022!