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Couple donates up to $200,000 to Potsdam Central School


POTSDAM - A couple that attended Potsdam Central High School have made a major donation to an account set up for the district through the Northern New York Community Foundation.

According to Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson, $100,000 of the donation is a matching funds challenge grant. The couple has agreed to match up to $100,000 in donations to the recently formed Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund (PEOF). They have also made a separarte $100,000 donation.

Mark R. Frascatore serves on the district’s board of education and the PEOF.

“I think it’s terrific,” he said.

According to a statement released by Mr. Richardson Wednesday afternoon, the couple, who have asked to remain anonymous, have agreed to match dollar for dollar donations intended for immediate use and 2:1 donations intended to help the fund create an endowment.

“With the donations we get, we would like to address some of the immediate extracurricular and enrichment needs,” he said. “Plus we would like to start an endowment.’

Mr. Frascatore said he realizes an endowment isn’t created overnight.

“Over time we would like to build up an endowment so we could collect interest,” he said.

Mr. Frascatore added people can choose whether they want their donation to go toward the endowment or the district’s immediate needs.

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady was also pleased when he heard the news.

“We’re very appreciative that our alumni would consider such a donation,” he said. “It’s a very generous donation, and we’re fortunate to have such dedicated alumni who provide this type of generosity to the district.”

Mr. Brady also said the donation couldn’t have came at a better time.

“It’s a great start for out fledgling foundation that was started to help support the district,” he said, referring to the PEOF. “It’s a collaboration between Clarkson, Canton-Potsdam Hospital and many other businesses in the community.”

He said it is happening at a time when money provided by the state simply isn’t getting the job done.

“This comes at a time when alternative funding for education is important.”

Mr. Richardson agreed, “This breathes tremendous life and momentum into the grassroots work of a very passionate group of Potsdam Central School District residents,” he said. “Through this collaboration and a very generous donor, there is a potential to provide a meaningful source of sustainable funding for endeavors that fall outside the normal scope of what a school could provide.”

Should the PEOF be successful, Mr. Richardson said he wouldn’t be surprised to see similar organizations created across the region.

“If this effort is successful, it could provide a model of how communities can rally to make their schools the best they can be and provide enriched learning experiences for all students.”

The good news for the district didn’t end there, as the couple also donated $100,000 of their own money to create a foundation of their own, “The Potsdam Fund for Education.”

“At the same time the couple has made a separate $100,000 gift to establish the ‘Potsdam Fund for Education,’ also to be administered through the Northern New York Community Foundation,” Mr. Richardson said. “This fund will support education initiatives in Potsdam, including the recently formed Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund.”

Mr. Richardson said anyone interested in contributing to the PEOF and helping them maximize on the $100,000 challenge grant can contact him at 782-7110.

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