IM this article to a friend!

February 13, 2005

School foundation stays cautiously optimistic

From: Twin Falls Times-News, ID - Feb 13, 2005

By Karin Kowalski
Times-News writer

GOODING -- Reid Lofgran is enthusiastic about the future of the foundation that supports the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind.

At the same time the organization, of which Lofgran is chairman, remains in limbo.

Although the foundation continues to act as a Santa Claus for the Gooding school, many of its larger efforts have been on hold while the school changes leadership and legislators ask questions about the possibility of closing the main campus.

"There's just so many things in limbo with this transition," said Judee Gooding, co-vice chairwoman of the foundation.

Lofgran said the group hopes to hire a new development director and to start searching for grants to bring in new money.

The foundation's former development director, Marla Ramos, resigned in June 2003 after raising more money in two years than the organization had raised since it was formed in 1993. Ramos was asked to resign because of concerns about conflicts of interest -- her husband, Angel, was superintendent of the school at that time.

The foundation gives money for teacher and student projects, travel to training sessions, interpreting services and summer camp. Last fall, it helped pay a boy's transportation to California to get a cochlear implant. Recently it chipped in for a magnifier for a visually impaired girl, Gooding said.

When a student receives something from the foundation, he or she is required to do a follow-up presentation.

"It's a warm fuzzy," Gooding said.

She hopes to see larger fund-raising projects in the future to possibly install a climbing wall at the school.

Times-News writer Karin Kowalski can be reached at 735-3231 or

Copyright © 2005, Lee Publications Inc.