2018 was another incredibly successful year for the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation. We raised $198,726 in 2018, making the total donations acquired to date $1,863,871! Old Mission Peninsula School (OMPS) opened its doors to 142 students as an official public school on September 4th. There is absolutely no way this could have happened without the Traverse City community stepping up and recognizing the value of a school continuing on Old Mission Peninsula. We are so very grateful.
OMPS has partnered with many different community organizations who have helped complete the missing links. Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (GTACS) is providing healthy lunch options for our students and also included our community in their very popular Carline Take Home program, which enables families to purchase a fresh, homemade meal on Thursdays. Angel Care Child Care is offering infant, toddler, and PreSchool options for families, which is helping with the child care crisis the area is currently suffering. Peninsula Community Library is still housed within the school for this school year and they continue to be a bright light and eager helper in their library services for the children as well as the community. BATA is providing bus service to include stops for children attending OMPS, as well as community members, throughout the day. They coordinated their schedule to align with the school’s needs, including stops downtown so that students from all over the area can access the educational opportunities on Old Mission Peninsula.
This endeavor to keep a school open on Old Mission Peninsula has come a long way in three short years. While we have accomplished so much, there is a long way to go. Donations have helped with start up costs, but in reality, school funding is not enough to cover the dreams the community has for the school. The curriculum is superior, the staff eager, energetic, and smart, and music, art and physical education classes have been funded. It would be wonderful to add a full time language teacher, increased art and music opportunities, more staff, additional technology and state of the art security.
Community residents David and Sara Taft have generously donated to the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation from the very beginning. Recently they donated money toward the naming rights of the school gymnasium, in memory of long-time OMP resident Josh Wunsch who passed away this year. Josh was one of the most vocal community members with regard to keeping the school open from the beginning. There is the one memory many will recall when Josh stood up during the first meeting the district administrators mentioned closing Old Mission Peninsula Elementary School. He stood at the podium, waved a $1 bill and said, “I’ll buy back the school for the $1 we sold it to you for in 1958!” That may have been the moment the community actually thought we could buy back the building and run the school. And we did. The naming opportunity for the gymnasium is a total of $250,000. If you would like to donate in Josh’s honor, please contact us to let us know or make a mention of it on your donation.
OMPEF will continue to raise money to provide educational opportunities for all on Old Mission Peninsula. The school is the main focus, but in time the goal is to incorporate other opportunities for the community. As we continue to grow, we are looking to the entire community to be a part of keeping our dreams alive. We have brought the school back to the community in all its glory. Our hope is that you will continue to help us move forward.
Thank you for your continued support. Please consider donating here!
Allison O'Keefe, President
Corey Phelps, Vice President
Sarah Kroupa, Secretary
Tony Guzzo, Treasurer
Amanda Renkiewicz, Trustee