By Maureen Robertson
Two weeks after Ramona Unified School District trustees thanked Friends of Ramona Unified Schools (FORUS) for a $1,500 donation for vandal-proof faucets and batteries for automated external defibrillators, the group reported receiving donations of $4,232 toward its goal of $20,000 to seal the roofs of several school buildings that leak.
“So it’s not just about soap and bathrooms,” said Bob Stoody, school board president and FORUS member, referring to the vandal-proof soap dispensers and soap the group donated and installed in all secondary school bathrooms in the district before the start of the school year.
One thousand dollars of the $1,500 donation will pay for school bathroom faucets that through vandalism or other mishaps no longer work. Ed Anderson, district maintenance and grounds supervisor, can purchase the faucets for less than FORUS, and district workers will install them, said FORUS member Greg Chick, Ramona plumber who installed the 39 soap dispensers at no charge to the district.
The remaining $500 will pay for two AED batteries. The potentially life-saving portable electronic devices can re-establish an effective heart rhythm in an emergency.
Chick and Dave Patterson represented FORUS at the Nov. 19 school board meeting. Patterson, chairman of the FORUS Roof Project, said a roofing contractor looked at school roofs with Anderson and “with $20,000 we should be able to seal leaking roofs in the district, allowing our teachers to focus on what they have been trained to do, and not run around with buckets all day.”
To accomplish their short-term goal, FORUS members are placing donation canisters in nearly 100 Ramona businesses.
“The long-term goal is to replace a deteriorated roof that can’t be repaired, and for this we will seek corporate funding,” Patterson said, noting that the group of volunteers is awaiting 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation.
“Our mission is to fill in the gaps in deferred maintenance problems that impact the health and safety of Ramona’s students,” reads information on the donation canisters.
The district has budgeted maintenance money to repair roofs of a room at Ramona Elementary School and of the locker room area and coaches’ office at Ramona High School, Anderson said. Those repairs are scheduled to occur during the winter break.
One hundred percent of the FORUS donations will go to seal roofs Anderson has earmarked: the kindergarten/grade 1 room at Barnett Elementary, the main building at Montecito High School, a portable building and the science wing at Ramona High School, and the gymnasium at Olive Peirce Middle School.
“Ramona merchants can help by allowing us to place our canisters near their cash registers,” said Patterson, noting that Roofus, a rescue dog owned by Chick and his wife, Dr. Jane Tanaka, is the project mascot.
The merchants who collect the most donations will have their photos published with Roofus, added Patterson.
“If you see one of our canisters, please help us any way you can,” he said.
Carmen Bedia, retired Ramona High School Spanish teacher and FORUS treasurer, is documenting donations. Ramona Sentinel will use the thermometer on this page to let the public know how much is raised toward the $20,000 goal each week.
“Huge, heartfelt thank you to our Ramona merchants who are helping FORUS by asking their customers for donations,” said Tanaka. “This past week, La Cocina, Ramona Music, Nuevo Grill and Richardson’s Recycling raised the most donations.”
Canisters also are in Ramona Cafe, Ramona Beauty Supply and Salon, Water Depot, Ron’s Tires and Brakes, Boll Weevil, Big Apple Bagels, Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Cold Stone Creamery, Savon Pharmacy, Jane Tanaka MD, Ramona’s Plumber, Ramona Sentinel, Packards Coffee Shop, W.J. Bradley Mortgage Brokers, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, Sun Valley Florist, Unicorn Books and Gifts, Elston Hay and Grain, Dr. James Hill DDS, Sears Ramona, Starbucks, Piva Equipment Rentals, Bank of Southern California, Performance Motorcycles, Ramona Unified School District Office, All About Fun RV, Country Wine and Spirits, Sambas Liquor & Deli, Marty Brumfield Wholesale Mortgage, Dr Dave’s Auto Repair, Mi Ranchito, Jack In The Box, Seven Eleven, Rice King, Poortinga Accountancy, Architect Robert Ahern, Orthodontists Dr. Hardie and Dr. Workman, Optometrist Dr. Gary Myers, and Chiropractor Dr. Michael O’Dell. More canisters will be placed in other businesses in the next week.
Ramona merchants who would like a donation canister may email Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Please donate your extra change or a dollar bill or two to one of our canisters in town,” said Tanaka.
Anyone who would like to make a private donation may mail a check payable to FORUS Roof Project to: Dave Patterson, FORUS Roof Project Chairman, 1003 Sixth Street, Ramona, CA 92065.
Attention, roofing contractors: Contact Greg Chick at 760-788-2889 or email@example.com if you are interested in helping with the roof project at a reduced cost. FORUS wants to keep the money raised for the project in Ramona.