History

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1998 Bexley Education Foundation Board of Governors

Back row (left to right): Linnea Blanchard, A.J Myers, Barb Hoyer, Artie Isaac, Mark Palmer, Michael Glimcher, John Royhans, Jim Garland, Pam Moenter, Gary Giller, Judy Brachman, Charlene Morgan

Front row (left to right): Marjorie Henn, Janice Schottenstein, Pam Workman, Pete Grimes, Jerry May, Paul Lacoix, Kitty Saldano, Janet Halliday

The Bexley Education Foundation was created on September 26, 1983 as the Bexley Education Fund by a group of parents and community leaders seeking to channel private support to public education in Bexley. In June, 1994, the name was changed to the Bexley Education Foundation and on April 8, 1996 the organization was recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt, public charity and nonprofit corporation with a 14-member governing board.

In September 1995, the Foundation launched a one-year campaign to raise $1 million to build an endowment and support a sophisticated technology program for the Bexley Schools. The success of that campaign also allowed for the hiring of the Foundation’s first Executive Director, Charlene Morgan, who led the organization until her retirement in 2011.

Following up on the success of that campaign, the Foundation initiated its first Celebration of Giving event in 1995 (later renamed BRAVO!), initiated an annual fund drive in 1996, and in 2001 launched its second capital campaign. The Campaign for the Performing Arts raised $2.2 million to support the renovation of the Bexley High School theater, the Cassingham theater and the performance space at Maryland Elementary School.

The Foundation awarded its first Impact Grant of $120,000 for a Global Technology Suite to the school district in 2006. Since that time, BEF has funded an Impact Grant of $376,000 to provide SMART Board technology in every Bexley classroom (in 2008), a $195,000 Impact Grant to support district-wide wireless Internet (in 2012), a $250,000 Impact Grant for mobile technology in elementary classrooms (2015) and most recently a $115,000 Impact Grant to support several social-emotional learning initiatives and increase access to technology for students. The BEF has  also awarded over $1,000,000 in classroom grants since 1995.

In addition to its fundraising and grant-making activities, the Foundation supports educational programs and scholarship awards each year through its designated endowed funds. The BEF’s first endowment fund was established in 1996 by BHS alumnus and Goosebumps series author R.L. Stine. The Foundation’s program to promote life-long learning and reading, Bexley Community Book Club or BCBC, was established in 2008 to celebrate the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary by founding Board member, Linda Kass. The BCBC program transferred to the Bexley Public Library in 2017.