Established in 2007, The Lake Elsinore Valley Education Foundation (LEVEF) was created in honor of former LEUSD Superintendent Dr. Sharron Lindsay, who envisioned it as a lasting way for the community to support students of all abilities in their pursuit of a college education. The group’s primary vision is to provide as many scholarships as possible to LEUSD graduates. LEVEF holds a fund with IECF and has distributed $103,000 in scholarships to date. Additionally, they’re proud to be reaching elementary students by providing books to those who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Read more to learn how you can shop for the holidays and help LEVEF reach more students.
LEVEF’s fundraising army is a group of eight parents who make up the board of directors. Their sole purpose is to generate money for scholarships and books. Chris Killiany, the parent of a 6th grader, serves as Director of LEVEF. He finds motivation to keep the fund growing through his interactions with the scholarship recipients. “They each have a compelling and heartwarming story,” Chris says. “For one, it may be a lifelong dream to become a cardiologist. For another, they might be the first person in their family to attend college.”
Chris says the biggest challenge is finding donors, especially since LEVEF is a small nonprofit competing with other larger – but also worthy – organizations. LEVEF has held golf tournaments in past years, but Chris admits they were a lot of work for very little profit. COVID also put a dent in their in-person fundraising efforts, so this year they’re trying something new in the way of an online auction. Participants can bid on a variety of items, including sports memorabilia and Disney vacations. The board sees this virtual event as a way to involve every parent in the district while expanding LEVEF’s reach by sharing the auction with friends and family members.