By Maureen Robertson
A check for $50 from Ralph Kling kicks off Friends of Ramona Unified Schools’ (FORUS) campaign to reroof one or more of Ramona’s public schools. Kling’s check came with a note stating “thanks for all you do.”
Dave Patterson, one of the founding members of FORUS, is in charge of fundraising for the roof campaign. He is working with Ed Anderson, maintenance and grounds supervisor for Ramona Unified School District, and a licensed roofer to assess the school roofs.
Repairing or replacing leaky roofs at several schools was among items on a proposed school bond that voters defeated in November. After the bond’s defeat, a group of Ramona residents responded to a
editorial asking “Now what?” The group formed Friends of Ramona Unified Schools, a California nonprofit corporation, and is in the process of applying for nonprofit status with the IRS.
FORUS’ initial project, installing 34 vandal-proof soap dispensers with soap in Ramona’s secondary schools, ended Thursday, and money has been donated to replace broken faucets at the secondary schools. Money also is being raised for batteries for automated external defibrillator (AED) units already at schools and for additional AEDs if requested.
Dr. Jane Tanaka, also a FORUS founding member, served as fundraising chair for the Soap Project, the Drip Project to replace broken faucets and the Lifesaver Project for AED units.
“In teenagers, sudden cardiac arrest is most likely to occur during strenuous exercise or within one hour after exercise,” said Tanaka. “The state of California strongly urges that each school campus have at least one AED, but does not mandate it.”
Tanaka’s husband, plumber Greg Chick, installed the soap dispensers, at no cost to the district, at Ramona High School,
Olive Peirce Middle School and Montecito High School where, school district officials report, most of the vandalism in bathrooms has occurred. Tanaka’s fundraising effort raised $6,800 for the 34 dispensers and two years worth of soap.
After completing installation of the 34th dispenser in the girls' bathroom at the Bulldog Stadium at Ramona High School, RHS freshman Kortni Zeigler, a junior varsity cheerleader, used soap from the dispenser to wash her hands.
"That's what it's all about," said Chick.
The $1,000 raised for new faucets will go to the school district, since the district can purchase faucets at a more reasonable price than FORUS, said Chick.
AED batteries are about $250 each, said Tanaka. As of Sept. 9, $500 had been raised. A request for an AED battery came from Olive Peirce Middle School and the second battery will be for
an AED unit at Ramona High School.
The bulldog Roofus is the mascot for the FORUS school roof campaign. Donations payable to FORUS may be sent to Dave Patterson, 1003 Sixth St., Ramona, CA 92065.
The next meeting of FORUS will be in the
office, 425 10th St., at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22.