Greetings to the family and
I’m writing to introduce you to the Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund, and solicit
you to aid in its growth and help more students continue their education past high school.
A brief history on the beginning of the fund…..
A savings account in the memory of Irene Fleis (Mom), was opened with $ 56.00 in 1994 after a 50/50 drawing.
Direct contributions, 50/50’s, and other fund raisers have helped it grow. My brother Larry suggested a polka dance
fund raiser in 2002 and as a result of its success, with the help of the four polka bands we raised almost $8,500.00 in a
single day. When Ed Fleis (Dad) joined Mom in heaven, we changed the name of the fund to what it is today. After almost two
years of effort, in March of 2005, the Fund is recognized by the IRS with the Employer Identification Number 20-0302442,
as a charity and all contributions made are tax deductible.
The management team…..
The Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund has 12 members on the board of directors. The officers are: Ted Fleis
- President, Ed Fleis - Vice President, Joan Gauthier - Secretary, and Larry Fleis, - Treasurer. All have graciously donated
their time and talent so the Fund operates without any overhead. In addition, an entertainment committee and a historical
writing group have been established.
The Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund’s
The Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund was
created to increase the number of high school graduates to continue their education at a university or trade school and achieve
a degree. The student, to be eligible for assistance and/or aid must have some family lineage connection to the past or present
residents in Centerville or Solon Township in Leelanau County, Michigan. Eligibility does not
require residency, only a lineage connection.
In 2006 the fund distributed its first (4)
$ 500.00 scholarships. The monies came from the interest earned from the principal that is in the fund. Since we are
recognized by the IRS as a charity, we use third parties to handle the selection process. The Cedar Chamber
of Commerce and Cedar-Maple City Lions Club alternate years and review the applications and select the winners
of the award.
Go to the questions and answers section for more information about
applying for a scholarship.
Each year the fund will distribute 5% of its monies with
the intent it will continue and grow forever.
Why is this
important to us…………….
1. The Fund was established
in memory of our parents who raised 12 of us, (I know I was Mom‘s favorite), but yet gave to their church and community.
We remember them every time a check is written.
2. My wife and I have given a lot of money
to charities over the years and frankly I don’t know how much of that money was used for the purpose intended, or was
it gobbled up in salaries and overhead. Since the beginning, the money in the fund, with the exception of food expenses
at the annual fund raiser, has been spent on helping and motivating students. Even envelopes, paper and stamps have
3. As time passes, your support (mentoring or
financial) will help your grand, great grand and great great grand children graduate.
article in the Grand Rapids Press showed that a graduate from an university earns over $ 1,000,000.00 more over his or
her lifetime then a person with a high school education.
In another article, only 51% of the
students that attend college actually graduate. By the time I retire, I will be in the work force for 46 years. It make sense
that the person that is just out of high school to continue his or her education before entering the work force.
How can you help……………
1. Identify students
that we can help through financial support or mentoring.
2. We need more mentors. We have about
a dozen volunteers to provide encouragement to stay in school and “get that degree”.
You can make the Ed and Irene Fleis Education Fund your charity.
* We have a couple that has
selected the fund as their "charity" and sends us a check every couple of months..
* The estate of Ed & Irene Fleis' great grand daughter has donated over $ 45,000.00 so far.
* Earmark a small amount of money in your will to the fund.
us if you have any suggestions, ideas or questions.
Thanks for all the past support!!