Battle Ground Education Foundation celebrating 30 year anniversary


Battle Ground Education Foundation (BGEF) will celebrate three decades of helping local schools with a community party for its anniversary.

For the 30th anniversary party, the foundation will host an evening of kid-friendly fun from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, at Chief Umtuch Middle School, 700 NW Ninth St., Battle Ground. Carnival games, a coloring contest, face painting and other activities will be available for children. Attendees should pre-register online at

“We want to celebrate the community for being committed for 30 years to the schools,” BGEF President Colleen O’Neal said. “It’s our way of giving back.”

O’Neal became BGEF president in 2015 after serving as a teacher and principal within the Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) for 28 years. There were only three board members at the time, and two of them were leaving for personal reasons.

“I was very well aware of the foundation, and I also knew it was struggling,” O’Neal said. “My heart said ‘there’s no way this school district should not have a foundation,’ so I talked to them and went to the superintendent and said I’d like to see if I could build up the foundation.”

Since O’Neal became president, the BGEF board has grown to nine volunteer members. With their aid, and donations from the community and businesses, the foundation has expanded to support more programs and events, O’Neal said.

BGEF offers several programs, including the Kids in Need Fund, Backpack Program, Stuff the Bus and many school grants.

In 2023, BGEF donated over $15,000 to bolster medical emergency supplies in BGPS. Naloxone response boxes were installed in all BGPS schools for opioid overdoses. Stop the Bleed kits, used for staunching serious bleeding, were also distributed to the schools. The foundation’s funding also provided automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to all district schools.

“Something that a lot of people forget is that the schools aren’t used only for the students, but are available for community groups,” BGEF Executive Assistant Rebekah Postupak said. “Having these resources helps the entire community.”

BGEF and the school district have changed considerably since BGEF’s founding on April 25, 1994, but its mission to support the community and schools has remained the same, Postupak said.

The foundation was created to handle funds BGPS was unable to spend due to constraints, she said. Among the founding members were Leo Beck, Jim Fenstermaker and Warren Reeves. Postupak is still researching to discover more details about the history of BGEF and its founding members.

The Backpack Program, which provided 750 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to students in 2023, is likely BGEF’s oldest event, Postupak said. The annual Stuff the Bus event, hosted each August, is an expansion of the Backpack Program’s success and helps more students receive the school supplies they need.

O’Neal’s current goal is “future-proofing” BGEF, so it can continue aiding Battle Ground’s growing community for many more decades to come. To do so, O’Neal plans to find more recurrent, long-term donors and increase the number of paid positions within the foundation.

“In the 30 years, with all the work that people have done, we’re in a good place. We’ve got good, solid financial foundations. My heart and soul is to make sure that the foundation can keep on going,” O’Neal said.

To learn more about BGEF, visit, or call 360-885-6536.

BGEF is searching for more information about its history. To share historical information about the foundation, email