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Potsdam Educational Opportunitues Fund celebrates first anniversary

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POTSDAM - The Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund (PEOF) celebrated its first year of operation on Oct. 24.

Members of the Potsdam community, PEOF advisory board, PCS students, faculty and administration were on hand to hear of the educational enrichment projects that were funded in 2013 and about the status of fundraising activities.

PEOF already awarded its first competitive grants in the spring of 2013, totaling $5,761, to Potsdam Central School (PCS) staff and students. Fundraising was given a big boost when Clarkson University Vice President for External Relation Kelly Chezum, presented PEOF with a $10,000 donation. High school music students provided entertainment for the evening.

The Potsdam Educational Opportunities Fund is a grass roots organization formed by local community members in 2012 to provide financial support for K-12 educational activities in the Potsdam Central School District. The organization’s goal is to provide educators in the Potsdam Central School District with the resources needed to develop creative activities and opportunities that enrich the educational experience of the students.

Funding for the PEOF is provided through ongoing local public and corporate fundraising efforts. The fundraising efforts of the PEOF have been significantly leveraged through a pledge by an anonymous couple, both alumni of Potsdam schools, to match gifts to the Fund up to $100,000 on a one-to-one basis for program support (an ‘annual’ fund) and a two-for-one basis toward an endowment (a ‘sustaining’ fund; note that the donors are providing the ‘2’ in the 2-for-1 match) that will carry the mission of the Fund securely into the future. The matching grant funding is continuing through the end of 2013.

The PEOF operates under the auspices of the Northern New York Community Foundation. Anyone interested in donating can send a check to NNY Community Foundation at 120 Washington St, Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601 with PEOF mentioned in the memo line. The NNY Community Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation. Donations are tax-deductible for those who itemize.

For more information about the PEOF, see http://www.potsdam.k12.ny.us/educational-opportunities-fund or contact Devon Shipp, chair, at dshipp@clarkson.edu.

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