Third annual Roseville Area Schools Foundation Festival April 13

The Roseville Area Schools Foundation will hold its third annual Foundation Festival at Har Mar Mall on Saturday, April 13 from 6-8 p.m. The family friendly event is part celebration and part fundraiser.

“The first two years of the festival we raised approximately $40,000 for Roseville Area Schools,” Roseville Area Schools Foundation Board Chair Mark Traynor said. “We are optimistic that this year will be our best event yet.”

The festival will be held inside Har Mar’s central mall area, and will feature more than a dozen live musical performances from Roseville Area students of all ages, free food offerings from Har Mar area restaurants, a mystery gift table, bucket raffle, silent auction, wall of wine and numerous games for kids.

The price of admission is $10 per person or $20 for the whole family. Festival proceeds will be used to fund various educational projects in Roseville Area Schools.

Since the Roseville Area Schools Foundation was formed in 1991 hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for Roseville Area Schools.

In recent years the foundation has bolstered fundraising efforts to keep up with ever tightening budgets.

“We were able to distribute $48,000 in grants across the district this year over two grant cycles,” grant committee member Jill Lund said.

Lund said there is real need in the district and the foundation gets far more requests than it can accommodate, but members do their best to allocate and distribute as much as they can across Roseville’s schools.

“We look at applications we get from teachers and discuss the merits of those requests,” Lund said. “We evaluate requests for grants on importance, need and potential impact the funding may have in classrooms.”

Lund said one of the foundation’s goals is to focus on innovative ideas for classroom learning, where a grant is used to start a project that will hopefully show positive results in enhancing learning. The idea being that if new technology is purchased and used through grant money and proves its effectiveness, that project or piece of technology will have an easier time being further funded through traditional means.

She said about six years ago the foundation granted requests for some interactive smart boards in classrooms in a few buildings in the district.

Today, Lund said nearly every classroom in the district has one, along with interactive tools such as “clickers” that are used with the smart boards by teachers and students.

She said they want to be on top of technology and help fill requests for newer learning tools that have a hard time receiving traditional funding, much like the smart boards were in the past.

“We want to be on the cutting edge of technology,” Lund said. “But the bottom line is we want to be open to looking at all requests.”

The foundation received 62 grant requests worth nearly $172,000 over this school year’s two grant cycles. The foundation was able to award 30 of those grant requests (some partial) worth nearly $49,000.

More than $27,000 in grants were awarded in October and nearly $21,600 in February.

Those grants were used to purchase four stand-up desks and iPads at Edgerton Elementary, Flip Cameras at Fairview Alternative High School, upgraded music notation software (district wide), chemistry and biology lab equipment at Roseville Area High School, 10 iPads, software and two Apple TV’s to support “Flipped Model” math instruction at Falcon Heights Elementary and much more across the district.

Traynor said the festival is a fun way for parents or others in the community to provide much needed financial support, which goes directly into funding these types of programs. He added that he is impressed with the work Roseville Area School faculty have done in writing grant proposals in the best interest of their students.

“They have gone above and beyond in their work and dedication to their students,” Traynor, who has two children in District 623 said.

Pat Reis is a professional event coordinator, who has directed the festival the past two years and has returned to head up the event this year.

“This has been a fun, successful event in the past and we have every expectation that it will be again this year,” Reis said. “It’s a fun time for the whole family at a good value and for a great cause.”

Beyond the food, live music and games, Reis said there would be some great  prize give-a-ways as well. 

Additionally, people will have the opportunity to bid on auction items like One Direction concert tickets and home plate box seats for the Twins vs. Yankees game on July 4.

Event organizers are still accepting auction item donations, event sponsors and volunteers to help with the festival. If you would like to get involved, email the Roseville Area Schools Foundation at To purchase tickets to the festival visit or purchase them at Har Mar Mall in Roseville the day of the event.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at or 651-748-7824.

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