Each summer, FJC and FA alumni are invited to return to campus for reunions. The 50-year class especially looks forward to this event! The reunion aspect has expanded to include any class celebrating an anniversary divisible by the number five. For example, 5-year, 10-year, etc. all the way to 70-year! Presently, this celebration is held the last Saturday in June in conjunction with “Ribs at the Ranch” – a fundraiser for debt reduction on Sterling Hall/Maintenance Building.
We continue to invite honored classes to consider a special gift for Freeman Academy at that time which can be designated to a specific project on campus. Some of the projects chosen over the recent years are financial aid/scholarships for current students, technology, equipment for grounds upkeep and building repair/renovation.
Invitations are sent to honored class members each year, but all alumni are always welcome to attend the alumni reunion.
For specific details on upcoming events or assistance in planning your class reunion, please contact the Development Office at Freeman Academy, 605-925-4237, ext 235 or email@example.com
Annual Fundraisers contribute to tuition shortfalls. Tuition only covers 40% of the cost to educate each student. We need parents to help make these events successful by assisting with leadership, working at the events, and inviting friends and family to attend.
Leap Forward in Faith – is held on February 29 or March 1 as Freeman Academy’s designated “Giving Day.” Alumni and friends of the school are encouraged to send gifts on that day via the mail, online or dropping them off at the office during a 24 hour time period. Social media such as Facebook and email contacts provide updates throughout the day to remind everyone about this opportunity to give financial gifts.
Schmeckfest – is held on two consecutive weekends at the end of March/beginning of April, depending on when Easter falls. The festival is organized by the FA Auxiliary to honor our Germans-from-Russia ethnic heritage and raise funds to benefit the school. The campus is transformed into areas for ethnic food and craft demonstrations, Country Kitchen bake sale, and a buffet meal of traditional, Germans-from-Russia foods is served in the basement of Pioneer Hall. Community people and FA students combine efforts to present a musical theater production each evening in the Pioneer Hall auditorium.
Approximately 150-200 persons are needed each day/evening to help with all of the events. Students are each assigned to a specific booth each year and we encourage them to volunteer time to wait on tables or help in the kitchen when possible. Parents are also encouraged to join the fun and camaraderie developed by working together with alumni, constituents, and other community persons.
Local Mennonite Church Support – Throughout the year, special offerings and fund drives are conducted by the area Mennonite churches including Salem Mennonite, Salem-Zion Mennonite and Hutterthal Mennonite.
Freeman Academy Farms – Approximately 350 acres of agricultural land has been gifted to Freeman Academy over the years by generous alumni and constituents. Seeds are often donated by local dealers and fertilizer is purchased. Volunteers coordinate the planting and harvesting of these crops with the proceeds going to fund the school’s annual budget needs.
Pioneer Circle – a Circle of Support for Christian Education at Freeman Academy
This group of donors provides a solid financial foundation for Freeman Academy by individuals’ pledging and contributing $1000, or more, per year over and above gifts through the church or business drive, tuition assistance or Sterling Hall debt reduction. These sustaining gifts help to ensure a consistent flow of income for the general budget.
More than a collection of gifts, the Pioneer Circle is the catalyst for turning individual generosity into collective energy. It represents the interaction of alumni and friends working together to provide opportunities for students in Freeman and the surrounding rural community. If you would like to learn more about becoming part of Pioneer Circle, contact Vernetta Waltner at 605-925-4237, ext. 235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ribs at the Ranch – A time of food and fellowship for the community and beyond held the last Saturday of June in the boulevard in front of the Administration Building. Meals are served to the public from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Ribs, smoked brisket sandwiches, chislic and other side dishes are sold ala carte. Other activities include an alumni reunion and live musical entertainment.
The proceeds from this event contribute to debt reduction on Sterling Hall. As of July 2018, only $80,000 is left to pay on a no-interest loan. This event is sponsored by the Sterling Hall Fundraising Committee and FA Athletic Department.