Bulldog Center Open House kicks off annual BCEF Campaign

first_imgCommunity members who are interested in learning more about the flexible learning space initiative or the fundraiser can also stop by Amack’s Well during the month of May, when BCEF will be the featured nonprofit at the coffee shop’s outreach table. BCEF board members will also be present with the display at the Batesville Farmer’s Market on May 18 and 25, and June 8, as well as at BHS Senior Night May 22 and BHS graduation on June 1. After May 13, all information will also be available at the foundation’s website at BatesvilleEducationFoundation.org.  Paper order and donation forms will be available there, as well as the ability to order or donate online after that date until June 10. Orders for signs and boulders are for local delivery only; no items will be shipped. “A sign for inside your house or a boulder for your outside landscaping—we think we have Batesville Bulldog supporters covered,” Linkel-Cleghorn summarized. “But we definitely will need monetary donations, too, in order to reach our goal of expanding flexible learning spaces. We think this is a great way for community members to share their Bulldog spirit while supporting the foundation and its mission to help students at the same time.” Batesville, In. — With a newly installed Bulldog memorial as its focal point, the multi-purpose Bulldog Center at Batesville High School (BHS) will be the site of an open house hosted by the Batesville Community Education Foundation (BCEF) on Wednesday, May 15 from 6 to 6:45 PM, reports BCEF executive director Anne Wilson. In addition to showcasing the transformation of the old BHS wrestling room into a flexible space for staff, students, and alumni, this event will give the public a chance to learn more about the education foundation’s flexible learning spaces initiative and view the Bulldog-themed items BCEF is selling during its third annual campaign.Entrance to the BCEF Bulldog Center is through Door N on the north side of BHS by the BCEF paver patio. The open house occurs immediately before the BHS Scholastic Awards program that evening, which begins at 7 PM in the school auditorium.“BCEF is thrilled to have the new Bulldog Center at BHS to share with fellow Batesville Bulldogs,” Wilson said. “After donating $25,000 toward the renovation, the BCEF board of directors wanted to ensure that a special memorial was featured, dedicated to the two individual donors who also made the Center a reality—former German teacher Andy Koors and Mary C. Horstman. While a plaque on the wall would have been sufficient, the board wanted to honor them with something out of the ordinary.”BCEF board president Jama Linkel-Cleghorn worked with Wilson to brainstorm ideas for the memorial. The pair settled on a bulldog sculpture on an artisan-crafted base. Using their Batesville connections, Wilson secured BHS art teacher Andrea Grimsley to work on the sculpture, while Linkel-Cleghorn connected with BHS alumnus Brian Rennekamp, co-owner of the Village Workshop, to design and create the base.“At BCEF, we’ve made a concerted effort to work with BHS alumni and BCSC staff on our projects whenever possible,” Linkel-Cleghorn explained. “Our mission is to raise money for the Batesville Community School Corporation for innovative learning opportunities. What better way to do that than by showcasing graduates and staff who are living out our tagline of ‘beyond the basics’ with their extraordinary work?”An accomplished sculptor, Grimsley met with Wilson and Linkel-Cleghorn in the Bulldog Center to determine the size and basic design of the bulldog before getting to work on the piece. The finished piece of art showcases a seated bulldog, sculpted in epoxy clay with a bronze-toned finish. The piece took Grimsley nearly two months to complete.“I have really enjoyed working with BCEF on this project and appreciate the opportunity to produce a work of art for the foundation,” Grimsley said.While Grimsley was working on the sculpture, Linkel-Cleghorn was arranging for its base to be made. Her parents, Tom and Dee Linkel of Linkel Company, LLC, generously offered to pay for the crafting of the base and then donated it to BCEF for the Bulldog Center upon completion.“When I reached out to Brian (Rennekamp) about building the base, he was excited about what our vision was for this piece,” Linkel-Cleghorn continued. “We wanted it to stand out as a testimonial to those who believed in BCSC and BCEF by donating the money that eventually made the Center possible.”“Earning the chance to work with BCEF on this project was rewarding because it allowed us to connect with our community in a very special way,” Rennekamp explained.  “It is also important for our small business to have opportunities to put our work in front of potential future employees, which are the BHS students of today. BHS is where I began building my career path 25 years ago; skills and lessons I learned through the CAD/drafting, geometry and art courses (among others) during my time there are still used in my work today on a daily basis.”The Village Workshop, Inc. currently employs nine full time employees, five of whom are BHS graduates: Brian Rennekamp (co-owner) – design, project and sales director; Jason Meyer – workshop and installation crew (and BHS JV Baseball coach); Seth Shields – workshop apprentice (20 year US Air Force vet); Tom Nobbe – installation crew leader; and Chris Bauer – workshop and installation crew.Besides offering attendees a first official glance at the completed Bulldog Center, the open house will also showcase BCEF’s plans for its third annual campaign, being held from May 13 through June 10.This annual fundraiser provides more than 40% of BCEF’s income for its various projects. Proceeds from the first two campaigns primarily were earmarked to fund flexible learning space items at BHS in 2017 and Batesville Primary School (BPS) and Batesville Intermediate School (BIS) in 2018. Superintendent Paul Ketcham has a list of teachers and principals who want to be next on the list to receive the innovative pieces. (See inset for “What’s in a Flexible Learning Space?”)“As superintendent of BCSC and a BCEF board member, I’m excited that the foundation board has decided to continue to support the flexible learning spaces initiative,” Ketcham said. “Some of the BCEF board members met last December with the teachers and students impacted by our 2018 donation and came away with a renewed dedication to continuing this initiative.”As a way to better explain the impact that the flexible learning space materials have had on students and teachers, Wilson spent time talking with students whose learning has been positively impacted. These stories are included in a special booklet prepared by BCEF to highlight how important this project is and why BCEF wants to continue its expansion. BHS alumnus Kirk Yorn from Perfect Image Printing worked with Wilson to finalize the design and print the booklets.“Our goal with the booklet is to put faces on our project—to introduce the public to actual students who are learning while using these new flexible pieces and for them to tell their own stories about why the spaces have made a difference,” Wilson said. “The teachers and parents were so gracious to allow me to talk to these students and take photos. We’re hoping that these stories tell our mission in a way that no PowerPoint presentation could.”In keeping with BCEF’s previous annual campaigns, the foundation will be offering items for sale with Bulldog appeal while also soliciting monetary donations for the initiative.“While our targeted project for the majority of the proceeds remains the same, we’re moving in a different direction from the engraved patio pavers this year for the fundraiser portion,” Wilson explained. “We’ll be offering Bulldog-themed handmade signs and engraved boulders for our supporters to order, produced by BHS alumni, continuing our legacy of working with BCSC graduates who are successful here in the community and want to give back.“The engraved boulders will be supplied from our partner from the last two campaigns, Batesville Monument. We will be offering four different sizes of rocks/boulders and have developed eight different styles to choose from for the engraving. BHS graduates Colt Weberding and Ben Meer are our project coordinators for this project, but the company has other BHS alumni working there. The signs will all be crafted by Claire Macyauski, also a BHS graduate and owner of ‘Handmade by Claire Macyauski.’ Claire helped us develop six different sign designs with varying sizes in both square and rectangular shapes.”BCEF is hoping that community members will support the nonprofit by ordering either a sign or a boulder or by making a monetary donation if neither type of item interests them. A portion of every order will be a donation to BCEF.center_img Orders will only be taken from May 13 through June 10 with no exceptions. Questions regarding BCEF or its annual campaign can be directed to Wilson at [email protected] or 812-934-2194.last_img read more