Jackson Local Schools Foundation merges with alumni foundation

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

JACKSON TWP. The Jackson Local Schools Foundation (JLSF) and the Jackson High School Alumni Association (JHSAA) will officially merge, effective Dec. 31. Both organizations will keep their names with the JHSAA operating under JLSF’s 501(c)3 non-profit status.

Jackson Local Schools Foundation merges with alumni foundation

Jim Camp of the Jackson Local Schools Foundation said that both organizations have their own endowment funds and that both funds will stay in tact and grow.

“We have been having a conversation for over a year and half about the merger,” Camp said. “The Foundation has a great group of volunteers and we think we can bring new energy to the Alumni Association. There are 22,000 JHS grads all over the world and Jackson High School has given them a great foundation for success in life. Jackson graduates over 500 students a year, so the alumni is going to continue to grow significantly.”

Camp said each organization will continue to hold annual events including the Wall of Fame induction held by the Alumni Association and the awarding of scholarships. Camp said the groups will come together for events as well for activities such as the Wall of Fame, the Community Celebration and Unity in the Community.

“Together, we raised monies for the Polar Bear Promise over the summer and donated $10,000 to Stark State College and Stark State matched that amount to be used by Jackson graduates attending Stark State. We will have representatives from each group sitting on the other’s boards,” Camp said.

One thing that will be new is that the Alumni Association will get a new website to help put out information on reunions and other information. Another change is that the alumni membership will be changed to include making every Jackson High School graduate an alumni member which goes with the association's tagline “Once a Bear, Always a Bear.”

“The members are excited about 2021 and beyond because we have amazing alumni out there that we want to connect with to inspire students and the students inspire the alumni. The Foundation has a great reputation for doing things and being creative. It has given back close to $85,000 in grants to the schools in Jackson Local Schools and has donated money to additional charities. We can also bring stability along with additional energy for the next five, ten or twenty years,” Camp said.

Jennifer Jones has been with the Alumni Association since it was started in 1998 by Bob Kolberg. She said the group is excited about the merger.

“The merger is a huge step in the right direction,” Jones said. “The Foundation has a powerhouse board and we are excited to become are part of it. We are excited about continuing to raise money for scholarships and to continue with the Wall of Fame.”