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Local

Honor bricks offered through Geneva Academic Foundation fundraiser

Geneva Chamber of Commerce Membership Director Judy Carroll and city of Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns hold the ribbon while Geneva Academic Foundation President Jeff Vekony cuts the ribbon during a dedication ceremony for the GAF's Viking Plaza at Geneva High School. Surrounding Vekony are (from left) GAF founder Gregg Nelson; GAF founder Mack Olson’s daughter Erin Olson Watts; District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler; GAF founder Jan Crooch; GAF Board member Mark Obermeyer; and Geneva High School Principal Tom Rogers. Bricks are able to be purchased through Geneva Academic Foundation as a fundraiser for the organization. The inaugural purchased bricks were unveiled at the ceremony.
Geneva Chamber of Commerce Membership Director Judy Carroll and city of Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns hold the ribbon while Geneva Academic Foundation President Jeff Vekony cuts the ribbon during a dedication ceremony for the GAF's Viking Plaza at Geneva High School. Surrounding Vekony are (from left) GAF founder Gregg Nelson; GAF founder Mack Olson’s daughter Erin Olson Watts; District 304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler; GAF founder Jan Crooch; GAF Board member Mark Obermeyer; and Geneva High School Principal Tom Rogers. Bricks are able to be purchased through Geneva Academic Foundation as a fundraiser for the organization. The inaugural purchased bricks were unveiled at the ceremony.

GENEVA – The Geneva Academic Foundation’s new fundraiser this year is promoting the purchase of honor bricks for $50 to $200. The bricks will pave the Viking Plaza at Geneva High School.

Officials from the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Geneva School District 304 and GAF founders attended a dedication ceremony for the bricks May 18.

GAF Board member Mark Obermeyer said he came up with the idea of honor bricks as a way to raise funds without requiring donors to attend an event. The foundation provides grants requested by teachers for educational extras that are not in the school district’s budget.

“We wanted to do something that went across the community and not just teachers, not just parents,” Obermeyer said. “We have had more than 175 engraved bricks installed, but we have room for about 500 engraved bricks among the 1,200 placed there.”

The engraved bricks are 4-by-4 inches and 4-by-8 inches, he said.

The first engraved bricks raised about $10,000 for the foundation, he said. A second installation is scheduled for October.

The brick pavers were placed at the Geneva High School Viking Plaza, a new walkway and patio that features a Viking sculpture created by Joseph Gagnepain IV, a local artist and sculptor, Obermeyer said.

The sculpture was a gift from the Class of 2013, he said, and was placed in front of the gymnasium at the high school on McKinley Street, he said.

The work to tear the grass out and do the paving was provided by Lawnboyz Landscaping of St. Charles, and Valley Maintenance and Landscape of Maple Park donated more than 200 hours to install the bricks, Obermeyer said.

“The labor was donated. The sand and gravel was donated. Our delivery was donated,” Obermeyer said. “We paid for the bricks.”

In 2015, the GAF fulfilled eight grants for $26,000, and in 2014, it supplied 11 grants for nearly $35,000, with the total since its inception in 1987 being $1.3 million, according to the nonprofit’s records.

More information about the foundation or buying a brick is available by visiting www.gafgeneva.org.

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