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History of LEAF

The District 742 Local Education & Activities Foundation (LEAF) is a citizens’ organization whose purpose is to secure and channel private funds to support and enhance the educational process.  The Foundation shall serve to promote the value of a comprehensive educational program and to increase public confidence and involvement in the public school system.  It shall build links among the public school system, business and industry, government, civic organizations, and the public.

Annotated History


  • The Board of Education formed an ad hoc committee to research the possibility of forming a foundation for the purpose of providing support for extra curricular activities in District 742.

  • Student Activities Advisory Committee subsequently recommended to the Board that such a foundation be formed.


  • The Board of Education approved the formation of an activities foundation to be called the District 742 Local Education Activities Foundation (LEAF). In June of 1993, the Board approved a transfer of $100,000 to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation to establish the LEAF Endowment Fund. 

  • The Board also approved a ticket price increase of $1.00 on each adult admission and $.50 for each student admission with the subsequent annual revenue from this increase to be deposited in the LEAF Endowment fund.


  • Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit organization were developed and filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. Application was made to the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status.


  • The first LEAF Board of Directors was formed and began meeting regularly. The organization’s by-laws were developed and formally adopted.


  • Status as a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) non profit organization was received from the IRS.

  • The LEAF endowment reached the $200,000 level.

  • LEAF began its twice yearly granting program utilizing 5% of its endowment fund for the support of extra curricular activities programming in the District’s K-12 schools.


  • LEAF hired a fundraising consultant and began organized fundraising activities.


  • LEAF undertook a special fundraising project, netting $140,000, to assist in preserving Junior High School activities programming.

  • LEAF Begins Night of the Stars (NOTS) fundraiser


  • LEAF Hires an Executive Director

  • First LEAF Appreciation & Awards Banquet at Steve & Paulette Schwegman’s home to recognize the many contributions of individuals to the success of LEAF


  • Year-long development of a Strategic Plan and Vision Statement with funding from the Initiative Foundation.

  • NOTS moves to Paramount Theatre to a “sold out” crowd!


  • LEAF Board Handbook developed to encourage Board professionalism.


  • LEAF Endowment stands at $450,000 as of February, 2007

  • LEAF Web Page developed:


  • 15th Year Campaign. ($456,800 Pledged, $284,443 collected as of 12/31/10)

  • August: First LEAF Welcome Back Luncheon at Kelly Inn


  • Establishment of the LEAF Academic Opportunity & Enrichment Fund by Board vote in July, 2009. LEAF now has two funds for donors to consider:

    • Academic Opportunity & Enrichment Fund
    • Student Activities Fund
  • Roll out of new LEAF web page in October:

  • Retreat to update LEAF Strategic Plan held in October


  • NOTS Silent Auction moves to on-line only

  • March: First LEAF Academic Fund Grants:  $12,500

  • October: First Academic Fund Event:  “Food for Thought” held at Tech High School


  • NOTS sets a new record, returning $8,049 in ticket revenue to student activities programs

  • LEAF’s new “Adopt A Classroom Program” raises $11,750 and funds 49  classrooms with $250 grants for supplies

  • October: The second Academic Fund Event: “A Learning Renaissance”,  raises over $23,000 and nets $14,734 for the Academic Fund

  • LEAF grants for 2011-12 school year = $103,055!


  • LEAF Board meets with ClearPath to develop an updated Strategic Plan

  • The Adopt a Classroom Program raises $15,000 and provides 60 classroom grants

  • Tech Football and Tech Athletics designated/Legacy funds reach the $25,000 level and begin providing annual returns to those programs

  • LEAF obtains two grants for the PAKRAT Program and provides $51,914 in support of this P-3 literacy and parent involvement program

  • The second annual Learning Renaissance nets $13,790 in “Fund-a-Need” direct support of academic programs and $13,790 for the Academic Fund

  • Total LEAF grants = $115,307 during 2012-13 school year!

  • Total Endowed Funds 12/31/12 = Activities Fund: $597,523, Academic Fund:  $130,268


  • Twelve Night of the Stars features three performances and nets $11,435 for student activities

  • Third annual Learning Renaissance nets $19,930 in Fund-A-Need direct support of academic programs and $16,068 for the Academic Endowment Fund

  • Total Endowed Fund 12/31/13 = Activities Fund: $720,984.01, Academic Fund:  $184,491.70


  • The LEAF Homeless Student Services Fund and Language Immersion Program Fund begin

  • LEAF receives the Innovation Grant and $2,000 from the Center for Nonprofit Excellence & Social Innovation (CNESI)

  • The Otto Bremer Foundation awards a $29,414 grant to LEAF for the PAKRAT program!

  • The LEAF endowment reaches $1 million!


  • LEAF purchases a bus for the Summer Roll & Read PAKRAT Program and expands the program throughout the school district

  • A “PeaceMakers Concert” features the Apollo & Tech choirs is funded with a $3,000 LEAF grant

  • The LEAF “Retired Educators” Legacy Fund reaches the $25,000 level and begins making grants to District Academic & Activities Programs through the regular LEAF grant cycle


  • A LEAF makes $140,683 in grants to academic, activities, arts and athletic program in District 742


  • Matching $10,000 challenge grants from Mark & Ann Thelen and Mike Podawiltz and Diana Murphy-Podawiltz help LEAF raise $54,855 for the LEAF Homeless Student Services Fund

  • An annual $10,000 grant from Paul & Joanne Dorsher for the Fund-a-Need auction helps LEAF raise $21,359 in that auction and to donate $10,677 to the District Talent Development Program

  • Liberty Bank partners with LEAF at the Liberty Block Party and donates $15,000 to various LEAF initiatives

  • LEAF begins a new “Activities Participation  Fund” to encourage needy students to participate in the activities program


  • LEAF funds an “Activity Bus” for middle school students through the generosity of two $10,000 grants:  One from the Morgan Family Foundation and a Difference Maker grant from the Central MN Community Foundation

  • Randy Warzeca and Lucille Guinta-Bates represent LEAF in the CMCF Women’s Fund “Dancing with our Starts” event and raise over $7,200 for LEAF’s Homeless Student Services Fund

  • LEAF grants $171,002 during 2018, bringing the total grants given since 1996 to $1,685,286!

LEAF Total Financial Impact on District 742: 
(As of December 31, 2018)

Activities Grants Awarded


Activities Contingency Grants


Academic Grants


Academic Contingency Grants


Night of the Stars Ticket Rebates to Programs


Dist Ticket Revenue Return


Adopt a Classroom Grants


PAKRAT Program Grants


Fund-A-Need Grants


Direct Flow-Through Grants


Tech Golf Athletic Grants


Apollo Golf Activities Grants


Immersion Program Grants


Activities Participation Program Grants


Homeless Student Services Fund Grants



 $1,685,286.34 (as of 12/31/2018)

Fund Totals (12/31/2018):

Academic Opportunity & Enhancement Fund


Activities Fund


Liberty Savings Fund


Total LEAF Assets