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Giving Priorities

Annual Fund

Annual Fund gifts are the most mission-based gifts that the school can receive because they support everything that you already love about Lake Ridge Academy. Alumni, parents, grandparents, faculty and friends give to the Annual Fund at every giving level to collectively provide each student the opportunity of a Lake Ridge education.

Can you imagine Lake Ridge Academy with 25% fewer teachers or 25% less technology, laboratories, or classrooms? Since no student pays more than 75% of the cost of a Lake Ridge education, ALL students are supported by Annual Fund gifts that make their Lake Ridge experiences possible.

Annual Fund Giving Options

Founders Club members provide key financial support to some of the school’s highest priorities and most expensive needs. There are various giving levels within the Founders Club, whose donation levels all make great impact:

  • $15,000 – With support from Herb Kaatz Founders Club donors, for example, Lake Ridge can remain committed to retaining talented teachers to keep our class sizes small and our student-to-teacher ratio at just 8:1.

  • $10,000 – Scrib Fauver Founders Club donors offer gifts at levels that fund visiting speakers, authors, artists in residence, and visiting theater programs that enrich our academic curriculum and expose students to professionals outside of the school’s community.

  • $5,000 – Charlie Small Founders Club donors offer gifts at levels that allow the school to preserve our beautiful 93-acre campus.

  • $3,500 – Founders Club members sustain the school’s commitment to support some of the costlier aspects of delivering a unique educational experience at Lake Ridge Academy.

By providing a gift of $1,963 or more, 1963 Society members honor the school’s founding year and support the school in ways that make Lake Ridge Academy distinctive. 1963 Society members support areas of the school that give students extraordinary learning opportunities such as our three Centers of Excellence and ensure that Lake Ridge remains on track to meet its long-term Vision Beyond 50 goals to best support our students.

Every Annual Fund gift is important.

Donors who offered just $5 per month collectively gave $4,000 by the end of the year and helped to bring robotics and engineering programs to the Middle School. Annual Fund gifts range in size from $1 to $30,000. The most common Annual Fund gift is $100, and the average gift is $687. 50% of Annual Fund donors each gave less than $500.

The Atticus Fund

Inspired by Teresa Jenkins who will have taught for forty years at Lake Ridge Academy at the time of her June 2020 retirement, the Atticus Fund is a newly created endowed fund that will be used to honor all beloved Lake Ridge Academy teachers. The Atticus Fund provides significant (and expensive!) professional development opportunities that far exceed the school’s professional development funds. Teachers often have opportunities to lead workshops or learn in other countries, for example, but currently must weigh their invitations to participate against their own ability to finance the cost of the trip. Thanks to many donors, we can change that.

The Atticus Fund was created with generous lead gifts totaling $40,000:
The Gordon Family
The Parents Association
Steve Bamberger ’87
Vic Fusilero ’84 and Mike Fahy
Mona (Raj) Rinaldi ’90 and Tony Rinaldi
Caroline Sherman ’94
Zack Sweebe ’08
Jutta Swoboda

Now, these donors need your help to activate the fund at $50,000 and reach the ultimate goal of $100,000 in order to support at least two teachers every year in perpetuity.

Participate** at a level that is right for you.

Gifts are needed at these levels:
One or more gifts of $10,000
Two or more gifts of $5,000
Five or more gifts of $3,500
Fifteen or more gifts of $1,500
Many gifts less than $1,500

Pledges of $1,500 or more may be fulfilled over 1-3 years through December 31, 2021.
Please offer a pledge or direct questions and gift details to Brock Dunn in the Advancement office at Lake Ridge Academy (440-387-5408 or

Make your gift online, by check, through a donor advised fund, or with appreciated securities.

Thank you for honoring Lake Ridge Academy’s teachers with your gift!

Alumni Giving

Lake Ridge alumni support their alma mater at every gift level to share their pride in the school. As they give back, they support their former teachers and give forward to future generations of students who follow successfully in their footsteps.

We get it! If you are a Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD), you are still in college, starting your career, starting a family, or just trying to pay rent! But, you and your fellow GOLD alumni represent 30% of the entire alumni body, and your endorsement of the school is so very important.

Your gift of just $1 per month for every year that has passed since you graduated from Lake Ridge can be given automatically with your credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. If you have been out five years, for example, your gift of $5 per month will be enough to buy several books for our youngest students’ classrooms and will earn you special recognition in the annual honor roll of donors as a GOLD Donor.

If you make a GOLD pledge, you will never get Annual Fund requests in the mail because your gift will automatically renew each year on July 1 at $1 more per month. At your 10th reunion, your giving to the school would total almost $1,000!

Consider this! For the price of just one Starbucks visit each month, you can make a difference for an entire classroom of students!

Alumni who are celebrating a milestone five-year reunion are invited to make a special gift that will mark the occasion and celebrate the school that gave them a start in life. Your gift to the Annual Fund will be pooled with your classmates’ gifts to have a significant impact on the school.

Royals Fund

Former Lake Ridge athletes and all Royals fans are encouraged to support our growing athletic program by designating their Annual Fund gift to the Royals Fund. Your gift will provide resources for all of our coaches, Middle and Upper School sports programs, athletic equipment, and safe transportation for our athletes.


Since Lake Ridge Academy’s earliest days, the school has worked hard to ensure that we are accessible to academically prepared students even when they require financial assistance. Thanks to donor-funded scholarships, 60% of the school’s students receive some level of financial assistance from a grant, scholarship, or merit award.

The children of public servants learn in very real ways what it means to respect and serve others. Their mothers and fathers face significant risk every day, and these children know, accept and learn to support the notion that it is important and worthwhile to help others even when that aid can come with great personal sacrifice.

Lake Ridge Academy welcomes students from 35 communities in Northeast Ohio in a geographic range that spans from Sandusky to Willoughby Hills to Brunswick. In each city, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics go to work each day prepared to give their own lives for the millions of people who live in their communities. Military personnel in those cities serve people around the world while working to protect the freedoms that we citizens enjoy every day.

Lake Ridge is proud to offer Public Service Scholarships to the children of these brave men and women in an effort to expand the college and life opportunities available to these young globally-minded citizens. New student applicants who are entering grades 9-11 who have a strong academic track record and at least one parent who serves as a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, or military personnel are eligible to apply for a scholarship.

Public Service Scholarship recipients pay just a fraction of tuition for a Lake Ridge Academy education, yet have full access to our academic program, extracurricular activities, and alumni career network. Depending on enrollment and funding availability, Lake Ridge will offer as many as fifteen Public Service Scholarships each year.

Funding Levels

  • $10,000 per year for three or four years - Donors can change the life of a single scholarship applicant with a gift at this level during a student’s full high school experience.
  • $12,500 per year for four years – Donors who make gifts at this level will help to sustain the program for future applicants. $2,500 each year ($10,000 total) will be placed in an endowment fund to support Public Service Scholarship applicants in perpetuity.
  • $25,000 per year for four years – Donors can support a scholarship recipient while simultaneously honoring a public servant (e.g. the John Smith Public Service Scholarship could honor a fire chief or veteran who died in the line of duty). Up to $40,000 will provide immediate support for a student’s full high school experience, and the balance will be placed into an endowed fund and given to future applicants in perpetuity.

You can make a difference for any student who hopes to experience a Lake Ridge education by designating your Annual Fund gift to scholarships. Your gift will be directed to students in the year that your gift is made and may support one or more students depending on their level of financial need.

Gifts of $50,000 or more may be directed to the general endowed scholarship fund to benefit students every year in perpetuity. The scholarship will be funded by the interest that is generated from the invested endowment fund.

Gifts of $100,000 or more can be used to name an endowed scholarship in someone’s honor, and the scholarship will be awarded to one or more students each year in perpetuity. The scholarship recipients will be made aware of the scholarships that have helped to provide their education.

Centers of Excellence

The Centers of Excellence are the pillars of our academic program at Lake Ridge Academy. These focused areas of study provide unique opportunities and a continuum of learning for all of our K-12 students. Knowledge and applied skills are built during the Lower and Middle Schools, preparing students for rigorous and specialized coursework in the Upper School. We offer courses not typically available in schools such as biomimicry, music composition, and AutoCAD to further our students’ perspectives and skills.

In the Upper School, each Center offers a graduation certificate program to qualified students who seek a more challenging and dedicated course of academic study. The certificate programs provide in-depth study and real-world learning opportunities, helping students to stand out in the college application process.

Your Annual Fund gift may be designated to a Center of Excellence and will support the Center’s teachers, classroom resources (such as musical instruments or laboratory equipment), and coursework. Larger gifts may be designated to a Center of Excellence to support a Center’s physical hub (building where most of the Centers’ activities and classes take place), equipment or technology that supports the Center, or a scholarship for a student who excels in that area.

Your Interests

Support your own passion by giving to the people, places and programs that you love most at Lake Ridge Academy. Consider a gift that is meaningful to you that will also make a difference for your favorite part of the school. If you like, your gift can also be offered to the school in a way that will honor a former teacher or someone in your family who is special to you.

Talk with an Advancement team member to learn how your gift can make a difference.