“Tips for Sips” Fundraiser (March 10th)

Would you take a drink from this water fountain?

RE-drinking fountain

Actually… in this case, you might not be able to even if you wanted to.

Yet this is the fountain on the Ramona Elementary playground that we expect our kids to use. And this is not the only fountain badly in need of repair or replacement at this and other elementary schools in our town.

“Tips for Sips”

Board member Perla Martinez was discussing the fountains when her son Josiah told her that he wanted to give the twenty dollars he was saving for a video game to the water fountain. He wanted to help get a new fountain at his school’s playground, where he’s a 3rd grader.

Josiah giving his twenty dollar bill donation to the FORUS members.

Josiah giving his twenty dollar bill donation to the FORUS members.

Inspired by her son’s generous heart, she wanted to give in her own way also.

On Tuesday March 10th, is the “Tips for Sips” fundraiser at Nuevo Grill (1413 Main Street). Perla is a server there, and from 3pm-8:30pm she will be donating 100% of her tips toward the water fountains at Ramona Elementary. Please request Perla if you would like your tip to go toward the fundraiser. The owner of Nuevo Grill, Sandy Narde, will also be contributing toward the day’s donations. FORUS will also have a table outside if anyone would like to stop and donate during those hours.

Josiah and his brother helping with fundraising jars.

Josiah and his brother helping with the fundraising effort

FORUS has accepted this as one of our school projects for 2015. We will work to repair or replace drinking fountains at Ramona Elementary, and will work to do the same at other elementary schools in need.

New drinking fountain.

New drinking fountain example.

How can you help with the “Tips for Sips” Project?

1) Join us at Nuevo Grill on Tuesday, March 10th to enjoy some tacos, and tip your donation. (Or drop by and contribute if you do not have time to enjoy the great food and drink at Nuevo Grill.)

2) Send in your donation to FORUS, and note “Tips for Sips” on your check. (Donations can be made out to FORUS, and mailed to 425-A 10th Street.) FORUS is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, and your donations are tax deductible.

3) If you a company or community organization that wants to help in a more substantial way, we are looking for partners who can purchase fountains to help enhance our own efforts. Please send us a message from our CONTACT US page.

How can you help with other FORUS projects?

INFORMATION. Our group’s goals are to help with deferred maintenance projects that impact the health and safety of our schools, their students, and their staff. We need to know what needs to be fixed, replaced, or addressed. We do not have a million dollar budget, but we do have the drive and determination to help get important smaller projects done. Please let us know what your school needs, and if we cannot fix it directly, we may be able to connect you with other organizations/companies that can get the project done.

PARTICIPATION. Our group is based entirely on volunteer work. 100% of donations coming to FORUS go directly to school projects, and 100% of labor/time given by volunteers, and administration costs, are at the cost of the volunteers. If you have time or talent to contribute to any FORUS projects, we welcome the help. We meet every 1st and 3rd Wednesday from 6pm-7pm at Olive Peirce Middle School in room A-3, and everyone is welcome.

COMMUNICATION. Our group’s success is built on word of mouth marketing, so please help us spread the word about our fundraisers and projects. We have a great town full of people who want to help the schools, and FORUS may be a way that they can give directly to projects that make an immediate impact.

We hope to see you at Nuevo Grill on March 10th!

– The FORUS Team

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FORUS 2014 Success… and 2015 Focus.

We want to thank everyone who came to take part in the community “Meet with FORUS” gathering at Olive Peirce Middle School.

This was an opportunity to share the projects implemented in the past year, and to discuss where the focus in 2015 should be in terms of helping with school maintenance needs.

FORUS is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization comprised of local citizens who want to help fill the gaps in our schools’ deferred maintenance needs. With the failure of school bond efforts in the past two years, this organization’s mission is even more important to the cause.

100% of FORUS fundraising goes to school projects.

100% of FORUS fundraising goes to school projects.

100% of funds raised for FORUS are dedicated toward these projects. All expenses incurred by the organization are paid by volunteers out-of-pocket, and volunteer participation is not paid, so that we are able to give every cent to these school projects.


  • Vandal-proof soap dispensers for High School & Middle School ($4,545.28)
  • Faucets for High School & Middle School ($1,426.00)
  • Replacement AED Batteries for High School ($500.00)
  • Roof repair, materials and labor, for High School & Middle School ($9,280.00)

During this period tens of thousands of volunteer unpaid labor and expertise hours were added to these hard dollars in order to implement these projects.

pix of the installer

Plumber Greg Chick donated his labor and materials to install vandal-proof soap dispensers at Ramona schools.

And there is much more we want to achieve.


  • Ramona Elementary Cafeteria HVAC unit – (FORUS is currently pursuing a grant to fund this specific project, so we are not collecting money specifically for this project at this time. We will know if the grant has been awarded for this in several months.)
  • Electric hand dryers for High School & Middle School (initial trial $500, and overall cost $5,000-$7,000)

The RUSD board has been presented a list of deferred maintenance priorities from their maintenance supervisor in order to determine where RUSD budget dollars will be dedicated in the coming 3 years. This is the list presented at that meeting last week of what the maintenance team is recommending as the highest priorities:

Deferred maintenance prioritization 2014-2016

Deferred maintenance recommended priorities for 2014-2016

Deferred maintenance recommended priorities for 2016-2017

Deferred maintenance recommended priorities for 2016-2017

FORUS will wait to see what the RUSD board dedicates their budget dollars toward, and we will help fill in the gaps on those areas that directly affect health, safety, and environmental needs of students and staff.

Though the community of Ramona was split down the middle on supporting and not supporting the last Q school bond measure – everyone was in agreement that they wanted to HELP our town’s schools. The disagreement was in the way that help was to be given, and not on the idea of helping. Everyone in Ramona knows schools are important, and providing the best schools for our kids (and teachers) is important.

FORUS allows the opportunity for EVERYONE to help fund and implement specific needed school maintenance projects, and literally see their contributions of money, time, and expertise translate into immediate RESULTS.

All actions are transparent. All transactions are accountable. And everyone is welcomed to participate in the projects. (We would LOVE your help!)


Please join the effort of the Friends Of Ramona Unified Schools in one of 3 ways:

  1. DONATE: Your tax-deductible donation can be mailed to FORUS, 425-A 10th Street, Ramona CA 92065. You can also look for FORUS Fundraising Events in the community to participate in. (Our next event: Cessna Memorial FORUS Golf Tournament, January 15, 2015 at Mt. Woodson. Details at 760-789-6823)
  2. VOLUNTEER: FORUS is always looking for new volunteers to donate their time, or their expertise, to our cause. All ages and talents are welcome. Watch our calendar of events for upcoming meetings, and message us on our CONTACT US page.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD: This is a new group that has made a BIG impact in a very short amount of time, and that is because of the great people involved in helping to spread the word. If you do not have funds to donate, or time to donate, then please help us by spreading FORUS news for us in your circles of friends. And if there are school needs you are aware of, please let FORUS members know. Find “Ramona FORUS” on Facebook if you would like real-time updates.

Thank you again to everyone who is helping us to help our schools.



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