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Doing good in our community: Kalamazoo RESA staffers actively involved in local philanthropy

The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo dedicates itself to “Helping Kids Get the Right Start” so it’s not surprising that the club involves quite a few Kalamazoo RESA staff members. On Monday night, Kalamazoo RESA was well-represented at the 13th Annual Back to School Party at The Fountains in Parchment.

Lynn Heckler, a retired REMC administrator, and Kristi Carambula, administrator of Kalamazoo RESA’s Great Start programs, were among the group of about 180 people who attended the event. More than $8,600 was raised for the club’s back to school shopping program that takes place in August each year.

Through this program, 50 at-risk children are chosen by Family & Children Services to go on a shopping trip to the Target store on West Main to buy new clothes and supplies for school.  As a result, these young people will be able to start the school year with clothing and back packs filled with age-appropriate school supplies.

Monday’s party featured a silent auction and a live auction with WVFM Radio 106.5 morning show host Ken Lanphear as auctioneer. The items and services being bid on were donated by club members and many area merchants.

Thanks to all who donated gifts and services and to all participants who bid on these items for this worthwhile fundraiser to help children in our community.