Founding & History
In 1956, Elk Grove was a small town with only one high school. A group of concerned educators decided to channel their energies into creating opportunities for local students to continue their studies. From this seed, the idea of locally endowed scholarships was born. Community Educational Services was the name of the non-profit corporation they formed. Its mission was to “establish a program whereby students and former students shall be encouraged and assisted in the continuation of their education through working experience or technical or professional training or education.”
The key persons in establishing the Foundation were Raymond Case who was later to be instrumental in the building of Services, Inc. and John Alltucker, another founding officer, who was the president and driving force of the new community educational schools in Vallejo a founder of Solano Community College. Other officers included Olga Batey, a teacher and community activist who later served on the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education and Beth Engs who later became instrumental in the restoration of Rhoads School.
30 years after the founding of the Foundation two scholarship funds were being managed under the umbrella of that original non-profit organization, one honoring Raymond Case, who died in 1966, and the other, Vernon Kellogg, a teacher and administrator who died in 1985. As the task of administering the funds became more complex, the Rotary Club of Elk Grove agreed to assume the responsibility of the scholarships. A suggestion was made that the Club formalize the arrangement by establishing a foundation to specifically administer the existing endowments as well as any others that might be added later.
On February 4, 1987 a group of Rotarians met to fine-tune the plan and elect the first Board of Directors for the new foundation. Roger Shaffer was selected president, along with vice-president Bob Fite, secretary-treasurer Stan Carrothers and directors Walt Davis, Jim Fales, Carl Amundson and Bob Hoyme. The seed money they started with was a little more than $10,000. Soon other community service clubs added their support, and in 1990 the original Community Educational Services articles of incorporation were amended to change the name to Elk Grove Community Foundation.
As Elk Grove has grown, the regional Scholarship Foundation has kept pace. The board of directors has been expanded several times, and it now includes representatives from a variety of local service organizations as well as the community at large.
For more than 150 years, the people of the Elk Grove area have made it clear how highly they value education. The strong community involvement in public education dates back to the post-Gold Rush era when one-room country schools served the farming families of the south county. In 1852 the first public school in Sacramento County opened just south of what is now the city of Elk Grove.
In 1898, the town became the site of the first union high school in the state of California. In 1909, Elk Grove opened the first rural library in the state, and the list goes on and on. That commitment to excellence in education has never wavered and remains one of the main reasons that hundreds of new families move to the Elk Grove and the towns that surround the city each year.
In 2012, for their 25th anniversary, the Board changed the name to the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation to better reflect our goal of providing scholarships to students. In 2022, we awarded 180 scholarships totaling $280,980 to students in the Elk Grove area. The Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation continues to benefit our youth!