The Orono Foundation for Education Donor Supports School Excellence with a $20,000 Donation

March 31, 2021

The Orono Foundation for Education Donor Supports School Excellence with a $20,000 Donation

The $20,000 donation honors the Foundation’s 20th anniversary and includes a call to the community for matching donations.

ORONO, MINNESOTA, MARCH 30, 2020 — For 20 years, the Orono Foundation for Education (OFE) has served as a vehicle for the generosity of parents, alumni, and community members to provide Orono Public Schools with funding that has been essential to developing programs like the schools’ Character Counts initiative, STEAM, literacy and world languages, to name a few.

In celebration of this anniversary, a longtime anonymous supporter of the OFE has given the community 20,000 reasons to celebrate OFE’s 20th anniversary. The donor has generously agreed to match all donations made to OFE between now and the end of the school year up to $20,000. As an added incentive, the donor will grant OFE an additional $5,000 (for a total of $25,000) if the $20,000 match is achieved.

“The additional funding we have received, and continue to receive, through OFE has given Orono Schools the opportunity to offer programs that are not covered by public funding,” said Dr. Karen Orcutt, Superintendent of Orono Schools. “When schools, parents and the community come together, every student benefits. It’s a significant part of what continuously makes Orono a top school district in the nation. For me, it’s a dream partnership and I’m really grateful to everyone who chooses to give the gift of education.”

The anonymous donor hopes the community will embrace Dr. Orcutt’s sentiment and a core belief for the Foundation: EveryONE Counts.

“We believe every student is worth investing in and every dollar allows them to reach their highest potential,” said Heather Pilakowski, OFE Board Chair and Orono parent. “All gifts, no matter the size, make a big impact at Orono Public Schools. We believe this gift will inspire others to invest in our kids’ future and provide the opportunity to double contributions during a year when fundraising has been incredibly difficult.”

OFE hopes that the community will join the foundation in recognizing and honoring a school year full of continuous change and ongoing challenges for Orono Schools’ teachers, parents, and students by giving at a level that unlocks the donor’s full $25,000 charitable gift.

Give to The Orono Foundation

The Orono Foundation of Education is committed to raising funds for today’s needs and tomorrow’s dreams. If everyone contributes in some way, we can sustain and grow the tradition of excellence in our schools for the next 20 years and beyond. To make a donation to the ORONO FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION, please go to

UPDATE: Anonymous donor increases donation for a community match challenge with a meaningful incentive for OPS. Click here for the latest on this incredible donation.