SJPS Foundation raises $572K in 2016

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph Public School Foundation surpassed several of its goals in 2016, which the school district’s board was happy to hear Monday night.

Bill Marohn, foundation president, and Sue Riemland, foundation administrator, gave trustees a year-end review for one of the district’s largest grant contributors. Riemland referred to 2016 as the “best year in the history of the foundation.”

In her report, Riemland outlined the foundation’s net revenue of more than $572,000 after setting its original goal at $450,000.

Riemland said Whirlpool Corp. remained the foundation’s biggest contributor in 2016. The appliance maker contributed about $160,000, which was raised in large by the company’s golf outing.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the help of Whirlpool,” Riemland told trustees Monday. “As we talk to our counterparts and other school foundations across the state, they remind us of what they wouldn’t give for a corporate partner like Whirlpool.”

While the foundation overshot its goal in 2016 by quite a bit, Marohn said they are going to retain their goal of $450,000 heading into 2017. This is in part because there will be no Encore in 2017.

Encore, which raised about $70,000 after expenses in 2016, is a two-night variety show that reunites former St. Joseph High School performers every other year.

The goals are set with the chairs of the foundation’s executive committee.

Marohn said they will also reach out to staff members to see what the foundation can do better.

“One of the things we are trying to do is tap into teachers who have not requested a grant from our foundation,” he said. “We are trying to figure out the barriers and how we can get them to be more willing to apply for a grant.”

New year, same faces

Three returning trustees were sworn in Monday night as well.

Barry Conybeare, Denise Reeves and Kerry Wright took a ceremonial oath of office at the beginning of the meeting after being elected to the board in November.

Trustees also voted for who should hold what cabinet positions on the board for the current term. Amy Porritt-Peirce was voted to remain as board president, J.T. Inman was named vice president, Reeves was voted secretary and Chris Cook will remain treasurer.

Cook, Inman and Amy Marohn will continue to serve on the district’s Finance Committee.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 10, 2017)


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