At $5 per person, we can reroof Ramona school/s

By Dave Patterson

Believe it or not, $5 can make a big difference.

One factor that can as easily improve or destroy a community is the quality of the children’s education, and Ramona is no different. The best investment we can make is in the schooling of our children, as the results directly affect our standard of living.

This rule applies equally to people with children and those without, as we all gain or lose, and this is why the Ramona FORUS (Friends of Ramona Unified Schools) group is embarking on its second campaign to improve the health and welfare of our public schools.

The Roof Project will take donations to replace and/or do a major repair of a school roof or group of roofs where the leaks are bad. One teacher has reported having to put out several buckets in her classroom, and we all know that the resulting mold and dry rot can eventually destroy a building. Thus we at FORUS have begun to take donations for the Roof Project, and this time we hope to receive contributions from all residents.

With a population close to 40,000, we in the Valley of the Sun can make a significant difference with a donation of $5 per person. At $5 per person, we accumulate approximately $200,000 toward replacing a major roof, or to apply toward many smaller roof projects.

The beauty of this campaign is that $5 per person, or $20 for a family of four, is not dependent on deep pockets, and is a campaign to unify the community with everyone’s participation. Old, young, retired or first-graders, we can all participate equally for the common good.

The actual roof that we will target has yet to be decided. However, with energy efficiency money coming available to the school district, we may be able to replace a large roof and have air conditioners replaced as well. Such an accomplishment will be a significant improvement in the school environment, accomplished by the people of Ramona.

FORUS members will be on the street on Halloween looking to promote our effort and take donations. $5 per person for a dry healthy environment for our students, and an investment in our future, is our goal. Please join us.

FORUS is a registered nonprofit in California with 501(c)(3) pending.

Donations for the Roof Project may be sent to:

Dave Patterson

1003 6th street

Ramona, CA 92065

Dave Patterson, a Ramona resident and FORUS member, is chairman of the nonprofit’s school roof project.

Related posts:

  1. FORUS completes Soap Project, kicks off school roof campaign
  2. Thank you, community, for soap project support. What’s next?
  3. What’s next, Ramona?
  4. Letter to editor: Bubbles benefit Soap Project
  5. Deputies respond to call of suspicious person armed with gun

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Oct 23 2013. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

31 Comments for “At $5 per person, we can reroof Ramona school/s”

  1. big daddy

    The district gets hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from the state specifically for maintenance. For years, the district has used that money to pay salaries. How about if we actually use that money, or at least part of it, for its intended use? Why should the community have to donate cash to pay for something the state is already giving them the money for? My daughter gets money from me to buy books for college. If she buys clothes with it because she wants to dress better than the average college kid, she shouldn't go ask her friends for a cash donation to buy books. That said, I'd be willing to pony up something if I saw the district as least trying or planning on some of their allocated budget on maintenance. I know that teachers want to make top dollar (and who doesn't), but it's wrong of all employees and the board to just keep salaries ratcheted up to such a level that we have to let our buildings crumble into dust

  2. Jane Tanaka MD

    There have been school buildings in Orange County and in Indiana which have collapsed due to years to decades of neglect fo leaking , rotting roofs. Dont let this happen here in Ramona. A $5 donation per Ramonan donation will prevent tens of millions of dollars needed to rebuild school buildings in the future! Please donate to the FORUS Roof Project.

  3. Guest

    The fund to reroof my house has now begun. How's a buck a person sound?

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      If your roof has been patched and repatched, and still leaking, and there is fungus and mold growing on the walls of your home, and the beams are rotting , , and your house was in danger of collapsing, and your kids were getting sick from fungal respiratory infections, and you had no money to replace your roof… and you sent me a request via "Gofundme" then yes, I would donate a dollar to you, even though we are strangers.
      This is what we are trying to do for our schools.

      • Guest

        Time to remove kids from the classrooms you allude to. It sounds as if OSHA would have a field day.

        • Jane Tanaka MD

          I've been told by Poway teachers that is what they do.. . call OSHA… only thing is that their district has the funds to make the repairs or to bring in another set of portable buildings. Our school district does not have that kind of money, even if it used up all its maintenance funds. And you can use up all the maintenance funds on just the roofs.

  4. Jane Tanaka MD

    Friends of Ramona Unified Schools is a non-profit service organization. We are not a political organization, and cannot speak on behalf of the school district administration or board. We are responsive primarily to the needs of the students. We appreciate the feedback of the public..even the tomatoes, mudpies and cynical snickers…we need to understand your opposition. We appreciate also the amazing support we have received. .. kids donating from their own allowance because they want to … folks from down the hill who have no direct benefit in donating to us in Ramona, doing so generously. BTW, thank you Gail Krussow of Ramona and Dr Jill Cottel MD of Poway for your recent donations.

    • Local

      Friends of Ramona Unified Schools are a JOKE. The district needs to manage their money better. No money coming from me and no vote for a School Bond either.

      • Just a Guy

        Geezuz, Local, maybe you could ratchet things down a bit. I may not agree with FORUS' mission if it makes the district more complacent, thinking that they can let buildings rot and someone else will come in with the money to save them. However, they don't even have kids in school and they are out there trying to make our community better. What are YOU doing other than sitting back and ridiculing other's honest efforts? Really harsh. Shame on you.

      • Jane Tanaka MD

        Like I said, we will take your criticism also. The members of FORUS are diverse in our political views. Some aggressively campaigned against the bond last year; one actively challenged the superindent to give back his raise. But we all use humor and altruism as coping mechanisms to deal with the dire, frustrating, worrisome problems we see with our school district. Yes, of course everyone knows the district needs to manage their money better. But that doesnt exclude public participation and support.
        There is a Hawaiian/Samoan phrase… IMUA… everyone come together to help your neighbor.

      • Anon

        FORUS is a non-profit VOLUNTEER organization. These people are donating their time, money, and hard work for the benefit of our community's children. What are YOU doing to better the community. Look, you have a beef with the school district. Thats fine. But why would you take that anger out on people who are doing something to better the community. If you've got a better plan than please do share it.

  5. Guest

    Friends of Ramona Unifed Schools has nothing but the best intentions. It is a credit to the community that a group of people are willing to do anything they can to help the kids of Ramona. The group should also use its infleunce to keep the pressure on the Board and the administration of RUSD. The fact that a non-profit feels the need to help with such basics as repairing leaking roofs is proof of the gross incompetence in the decision making and prioritization (I know – a new concept for the district) at RUSD. I think most in the community would prefer to see your kind efforts go toward providing something like playground equipment or new learning tools rather than fixing the basics, even if it is only $1 at a time. Thank you for your efforts; shame on RUSD for the need.

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      The "pressure on the Board and the administration of the RUSD" is a unspoken understanding. Frankly, FORUS is still working on being trusted by the board and adminstration. We have to walk on eggshells a bit. Remember, one of us called for the superintendent's resignation publically last year, and another of of us challenged him dollar for dollar on donating his step and column increase in pay. But as a group , we are apolitical . If we are the "muscles" to get things done, then the Ramona Parents Coalition would be the "brains" and its there mission to keep the RUSD board and administration more accountable to the public.
      As for nicer happier projects..would love to.. but we cant do that until our mission is fulfilled addressing the deferred maintenance projects that jeapardize the health and safety of our school kids. We even declined a Rotarian's suggestion to scrape the gum off the cement floors, as this is more cosmetic than health/safety.

    • Tracey Stidham

      We so appreciate the Friends of Ramona and Dave Patterson spear heading this iimportant nitative to replace roofs that are in disrepair. We no longer have children in Ramona schools but view this as an investment in our youth and in our community. Schools are truly the heart of our community. I am mailing in my donation.

  6. Ramona resident

    Does 100% of donation go toward reroofing? Maybe you can put up jars in local businesses to make the donation process easier and also put the word out thru Facebook Ramona sites where thousands are members. Just some suggestions. Don't want our kiddos breathing in mold. Thanks

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      Yes, it would.. Just like the approximately $8.6 K raised for the vandalproof soap dispensers and 2 years worth of soap for the secondary school bathrooms, and the $500 for AED batteries, and $1000 for replacing broken faucets. 50 plus hours donated by plumber who is a FORUS member.. no charge to RUSD.
      Expenses such as a banner, bottles of soap bubbles, postcards, all donated by members, not from donations.
      The roof inspections donated by a DelMar contractor, also not from FORUS funds.
      Halloween candy we will use to help promote this fundraising , also donated by members, and not from FORUS funds.
      Would love it if businesses would allow us to have donation jars…
      The Ramona Parents Coalition has been kind to spread the word .
      We are working on our website and will have a paypal button also. Thanks for suggestions and support.

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      We are following through on your suggestion, Ramona Resident, and have ordered 96 donation jars , which will be placed throughout Ramona businesses soon. Again thank you.

  7. P.M. Ketchem

    How sad that we, as a community, have apparently become so devisive and bitter about a group of fellow citizens (FORUS) who, based on thier past sucessful efforts with the soap project, have now embarked on a much more ambitious project to get the leaking roofs of the schools that are owned by we -the citizens – of Ramona. I do not disagree that many may have issues with the District Managements handling of financial matters and decision making. I do believe, after attending the community workshop in August, that we do have good members of our community who are serving as RUSD boardmembers and are reaching out to the community for guidance. I also believe that our board members are
    willing to listen and have been making a great effort of outreach to get the community
    involved. If you choose not to support FORUS that is your choice and I respect that, but
    please do not disparage the efforts of our fellow citizens.

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      Thank you for your support Mr Ketchem.
      Yes, it is very disheartening to be disparaged in this way.( The other members of FORUS are tougher than me, though.)
      The loud negativistic voices in Ramona, dissuade others from doing altruistic deeds for this community, and especially for our schools.
      Did you know that in Powaycommunity members donated $4,000,000 last school year to their school district PTA? One might infer that this is because the folks in Poway have higher paying jobs and lower unemployment than folks in our town. But the folks in Poway donated $4,000,000 via VOLUNTEER TIME, ( $20/hour x 200,000 hours ). And by the way, PUSD Deferred Maintenance Fund is 5x as much as the RUSD DMF, according to the State of California website.

  8. Guest

    Parents of Ramona Elementary students just received notices that say because that school has fail to meet AYP standards for 2 years the district must now offer bus their kids to other schools. Why are we paying to keep a poorly performing school open and at the same time paying to bus some of that schools students from town into SDCE? Close that school already!

  9. Ex-Ramonian

    I will have to agree with Big Daddy on this. As with all public schools, they are given funds in their budget for maintenance but some how manage to spend it some where else. This is basically poor money management.

  10. Jane Tanaka MD

    With financially savvy folks like Big Daddy , Guest , Local , atleast one of you should run for school board, or atleast submit letters to the board and superintendent on your thoughts about how the Building Maintenance Fund should be managed? What would be your priorties?
    If you had $200,000, how would you want it spent on the schools for safety and health?
    Remember, it has to cover all the schools and you need to keep some in reserve in case of emergency.
    If the Ramona community feels that Friends of Ramona Unified Schools ( FORUS) should step out of the picture until the public and the board/administration work this out… so be it! If we are persona non-grata, so be it. The members of this organization lead very busy lives. One works 2 or 3 jobs and has 3 kids; another works 70 hours a week in private practice; 2 have painful physcial conditions and still volunteer long hours.
    If you dont want to donate… don't. ( Thats better than a Bond, isnt it?.. Its voluntary atleast). Lots of folks against the bond said they would rather donate time and money to specific projects instead. Well.. here's your chance to make good on your words. It rained again today.

  11. Guest

    So Dave, can we get an update on how this is going? Is ANYONE making donations? Roof fund donations?

  12. Jane Tanaka MD

    This is not Dave, Its Jane . Is ANYONE making donations? Thank you for asking Guest.
    Dave has $60 in checks. I have a $200 donation from Dr Jill Cottel MD, who is a family med doc in Poway, and Ramona Physicians Assistant Cyndi Jobb for $45 , and from retired RUSD Spanish Teacher Carmen Bedia for $100, and Dr Amanda Guttierez PsyD from Scripps Poway for $50, and more donations from the Dahlke family, the Truett family, the Krussow family, the Tiechert family. I am pledging $250 a month toward the FORUS Roof Project , until the project ends. There are numerous other families who have donated their loose change and up to $20 in our donation jar thus far.
    We will be handing out candy and information at the trickotreat event tomorrow. Donations welcome then also. Thank you to our donors . Thank you to Perla Martinez and her family who have spent many hours preparing the goodies ready to be distributed tomorrow.

    • Jane Tanaka MD

      ADDENDUM- Thank you also to the WOOD FAMILY OF LEMON GROVE for their donation of $100 to the FORUS Roof Project.

      • Jane Tanaka MD

        Thank you to our generous donors,in addition to the Wood Family of Lemon Grove, the propietors of NUEVO GRILL and proprietors of RAMONA NATURALS HEALTH FOOD STORE for your cash donations. Special thanks to BILL & MARY PALMER ( $200) . Thank you to the many parents who donated to us this afternoon during the Trickotreat event. Tonight, from this event, donations totaled $590. In the last two and a half weeks, FORUS has raised over $1000 for the Roof Project. Hopefully parents will see our FORUS postcards in their kid's goody baskets , and will also mail in donations this cause.

        • Jane Tanaka MD

          This morning , another $100 were donated to the FORUS Roof Project. Thank you to the HAGEN FAMILY AND THE CHATFIELD FAMILY OF RAMONA.

  13. Jane Tanaka MD

    Another $150 donated so far today to the FORUS Roof Project, half from 2 Ramona families, one from Spring Valley and one from Lakeside.

  14. Jane Tanaka MD

    Today is Saturday. So far another $170 collected for the FORUS Roof Project, and its not even noon.
    Ordered 96 donation collection jars . Will be asking merchants in Ramona permission to have them in their stores/restaurants/offices. If any Ramona merchant happens to read this, and would like to help, please email me at Thank you.

  15. Jane Tanaka MD

    96 donations cannisters are arriving soon. Any Ramona merchants who are willing to have one or more cannisters in their business/store/waiting room, please contact Dave Patterson FORUS ROOF PROJECT chair at or FORUS member Jane Tanaka MD at Thank you.

  16. Jane Tanaka MD

    Is anyone donating to the Roof Project?
    So far approximately $2700 dollars have been donated.
    Lawrence Stidham of Stidham Law Offices donated $500.00
    Dr Robert Graeff donated $200.00
    A generous PTA president mom from down the hill donated all the cash she had in her wallet today.
    Thank you everyone!

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