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Published: 3/23/2006

Lake levy backers rev up

The Lake Flyers levy campaign will take off Saturday as supporters attempt to build momentum before the May 2 election.

Members of the Let's Approve Kids' Education levy-support committee plan to generate excitement in the Lake High School gym at the kickoff event so the district can get back on track by collecting new money next year, thus preventing a looming $1.5 million deficit by the end of 2008.

"We want to get people focused and excited about helping through the process of the next 40 days before the election, and this is a jump-start with the community," said John Geha, co-chairman of the L.A.K.E. levy committee. District voters will be asked to consider a five-year, 8.75-mill tax levy on May 2. It will be the seventh time - so far, to no avail - that the district has asked for new money since August, 2004, to keep the schools operating.

If approved, the levy would raise just under $2 million a year and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $268 annually.

Lake Local includes Lake Township, Millbury and Walbridge villages and a tiny portion of Ottawa County.

The gym doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for the kickoff. It is expected to run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Its theme will be "Preparing for Flight."

Members of the committee will provide a complimentary continental breakfast and have arranged for Linda Stacey, special assistant for community relations in the office of the president, to speak about the importance of a solid education.

In addition, the event will showcase the talents of the district's students, said L.A.K.E. co-chairman Brad Blandin. "We need to keep them as the focus of what we're doing," he said.

The Lake choir will sing the National Anthem, and supporters will recognize members of the National Honor Society, two state divers, and student academic award winners.

"We just want to make sure that people see that it's not just about passing the levy," Mr. Geha said. "It's about the solid foundation of Lake schools, and part of it is we want to have the community support us and help us."

Until the election, campaign members plan to provide levy information door to door, over the phone, or by mail. They also plan to hold three open forums with the community that will focus on school finance at 7 p.m. on April 10, April 20, and April 24 at the high school, 28080 Lemoyne Rd. in Millbury.



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