CASA of McKean County Establishes Endowment Fund

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County is preserving and empowering resources through the establishment of its endowment fund with the McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF)!

Recently the CASA Board of Directors decided to start this endowment fund, which works like a savings account or 401(k) for the organization. CASA of McKean County supporters can make contributions directly to the fund, which generates income for the organization to use or that can be reinvested to help the principle grow.

“Eventually, this endowment could generate enough interest to help support our ongoing operating expenses,” said Kristen Tim, CASA of McKean County’s executive director. “Children 20 and 50 years from now will benefit from what we are doing today.”

Too many children experience abuse or neglect each year. Instead of playing with neighbors and making happy family memories, they’re attending court hearings, adjusting to new foster homes and transitioning to new schools. That’s a heavy burden for a child to carry. With a CASA volunteer dedicated to their cases, McKean County’s most vulnerable children will have someone speaking up for their best interests. With support, more children will have the opportunity to thrive in a loving home.

CASA programs provide volunteers who are committed to support local courts as advocates of abused and neglected children, toward breaking the cycle of abuse so that children can thrive in safe, permanent, nurturing homes. They train volunteers who work on behalf of foster children by providing independent, fact-based recommendations to the court. For more information, go their website: casamckean.org

McKean County’s program chose to partner with the MCCF, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Northern Alleghenies, the mission of which is to strengthen the region through development, stewardship and grantmaking as donors achieve their philanthropic goals. MCCF will help to grow the endowment dollars with sound investment policies while CASA staff and volunteers focus on serving children. The foundation will also assist donors who have an interest in starting a fund to benefit nearly any charitable organization or cause in which they have a vested interest, whether as a named fund or in memory of a deceased family member or friend. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the MCCF for more information either by calling (844) 238-2289 or e-mailing us at mccf@zitomedia.net.
Gifts to the CASA of McKean County Fund can be made in any number of ways. For example, people can make a direct financial contribution; they can talk with their estate planner about a planned gift; or name the CASA Fund as beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Memorials are accepted in honor or in memory of someone designated to the CASA of McKean County Fund, and an acknowledgment will be sent according to the donor’s direction.

Contributions of any amount can be mailed to the MCCF, PO Box 708, Bradford, PA, 16701 (checks payable to the McKean County Community Foundation, with “CASA of McKean County” in the memo line). All contributions have maximum tax deductibility. With dedicated effort, the potential income from the fund will secure programs and services for many years. Consider a pledge today to build the future of CASA of McKean County!

Pictured Left to right:
Stacy Wallace, Chis Forbes, Matt Splain, board members of CASA of McKean County; Kristen Tim, Executive Director for CASA of McKean County; Bob Esch, CASA board member; Paula Fritz Eddy, Executive Director of the McKean County Community Foundation; and Virginia Hauser and Christy Sullivan both CASA Board Members

ARG gift to MCCF


BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) presented the recently established McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) with a charitable gift of $1,000 this holiday season.
Every year during the Christmas season instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper greeting cards, ARG shares an e-card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit.
ARG donates thousands of dollars annually, but this seasonal contribution is extra special, according to ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Schoenecker.
“We appreciate how nice it is to receive holiday tidings in the mail; everyone loves that,” Schoenecker said of traditional cards, “but we also value the impact that the contributions we make instead can have on the organizations critical to our community’s wellbeing.
“We enjoy these Christmastime donations more than a typical contribution because they are generally unsolicited and so unexpected by the recipient,” Schoenecker continued. “It’s become a festive tradition and a nice reminder of the reason for this season.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016.
ARG donates thousands of dollars throughout the year, and thousands more are contributed by its employee-donation-matching program to other local non-profit organizations and relief efforts. With a philanthropic spirit that is cultivated corporately and encouraged in its employees, ARG focuses its charitable giving on education, economic development, human services and health care.
Schoenecker said the foundation was chosen to receive the donation in 2017 because several individuals within ARG were instrumental in its establishment, none more than MCCF board chairman (and recently retired ARG Vice President – External Affairs) Bob Esch.
Like the Elk County Community Foundation, the MCCF is an affiliate of the 501 (c) 3 Community Foundation of North Central Pennsylvania.
“We were thrilled to see the MCCF finally, officially established this year,” Schoenecker explained. “ARG has long shared the belief that McKean County needed and deserved a community foundation, so we are happy to make this contribution toward its long-term success.”
Community foundations are unique, grant-making public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. A community-led approach, they create locally controlled assets by bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to strengthen rural areas like McKean County. These assets build a community’s ability to shape a better future and promote the well-being of everyone who lives there.
Esch said, “We are thankful for ARG’s continued support of and commitment to the foundation’s success.”
For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call 844-238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.

Photo cutline: American Refining Group Inc.’s Jeannine Schoenecker (right) presents a check for $1,000 to McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) Board Chairman Bob Esch. Every year instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper holiday cards, ARG shares a digital card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit organization. Established earlier this year, the MCCF was chosen as ARG’s 2017 recipient. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call 844-238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.

 

Kane Scholarships Awarded to Deserving Students

Recently the McKean County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of North Central Pennsylvania, awarded thirteen scholarships to students from the Kane Area High School. In addition to this award the Community Foundation is involved with the Partnership for Access to Higher Educations (PATH) and will nominate all students who receive a scholarship from them to the PATH program. This program is administered through PHEAA which provides matching dollars to qualified candidates. Last year the Foundation had nearly $66,000 matched to 63 students in our area.
The McKean County Community Foundation Board extends their gratitude to families and individuals who have seen a need and believe in the youth of today. Anyone interested in establishing a scholarship can contact the Foundation at 1-844-238-2289 or get more information by emailing Paula at mccf@zitomedia.net.

The Jeff and Shelli Johnson Memorial Scholarship for $500 and the Tristan Sauers Scholarship for $500 was awarded to Frank Truden. Frank is the son of Daniel Truden and Renee Bloom. Frank will be attending the Pennsylvania College of Technology this fall with a focus in welding. During his time at Kane Area High School, Frank was a member of the basketball, track and baseball team along with Little Dribblers.

The recipient of one of the Sashy and Gladys Kane Scholarships for $1,000 is Davis Gardner. This scholarship is available to Kane Area High School students who play an active role in their school and community and live within the borough. Davis is the son of Troy and Melissa Gardner. Davis will be attending Edinboro University this fall for Criminal Justice with plans of becoming a State Trooper. Davis also plans to play football at Edinboro University this fall. During his years at Kane Area High School, Davis was a member of the basketball and football team

 

The Diana J. Hulings Memorial Scholarship for $525 and the Sashy and Gladys Kane Scholarship for $1000 recipient is Lindsey Greto. Lindsey is the daughter of Lori and Michael Greto. Lindsey will be attending University of Pennsylvania in the fall and majoring in Psychology. During her years at Kane Area High School, Lindsey was a member of student council, Treasurer of SADD, Treasurer of the school newspaper (Hi-Life) as well as a member of the softball and volleyball teams. Lindsey volunteered at the Special Olympics, KARE for Kane, and participated in Theater Arts.

 

The recipient of the John and Donna Hulings Scholarship for $500 is Marcella Stanisch. Marcella is the daughter of Max and Laura Stanisch. Marcella will be attending Edinboro University this fall with a major in Nursing (BSN). During her years at Kane Area High School, Marcella was involved with Special Olympics, KARE for Kane, Altar Serving, Volleyball and Softball (4 years), SADD, Athletic Association, class officer (secretary) and the school store president.

 

 

The Steve Jerman Scholarship for $500 and the John and Donna Hulings Scholarship for $500 recipient is Lauren Gentile. The Steve Jerman Memorial Scholarship was created by his friends and family in hopes of keeping his legacy going after his passing. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior of the Kane Area High School who is pursuing a post-secondary education in the area of Elementary Education, Criminology, Social Services, or Health Related Fields of study. Lauren is the daughter of Anthony and Tina Gentile. Lauren will be attending the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford this fall majoring in Nursing. During her years at Kane Area High School, Lauren was the secretary of SADD and was a member of the club all four years. She was a member of the varsity soccer team and was involved with Special Olympics, K.A.R.E. for Kane, Youth Group and Vacation Bible School.

 

Brandi Wheatley received the Steve Jerman Scholarship for $500. Brandi is the daughter of Angela and David Wheatley. Brandi will be attending the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford majoring in Criminal Justice. During her years at Kane Area High School, Brandi was President of Student Council, President of Athletic Association as well as a member of the National Honor Society, Academic Bowl, Yearbook, Newspaper and Kane Volunteer Fire Department.

 

 

 

 

Camryn Cummings received the Chuck Daly Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. The Chuck Daly Memorial Scholarship was established to award a senior of Kane Area High School pursuing a post-secondary degree who participated in at least two sports during their Junior and Senior year. Chuck Daly was an American basketb all head coach.  He led the Detroit Pistons to consecutive National Basketball Association Championships in 1989 and 1990 and the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic basketball team to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Chuck Daly was an athlete and a scholar. Camryn is the daughter of Sam and Barbara Cummings. Camryn will be attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania to major in pre-med. Once she graduates and completes her full education, she hopes to become a pediatrician. During her years at Kane Area High School, Camryn was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and K.A.R.E for Kane. She was also a member of the basketball, volleyball, and track and field teams.

 

 

Keaton Rounsville received the Chuck Daly Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. Keaton is the son of Rod and Lisa Smith. Keaton will be attending Clarion University majoring in Political Science & Criminal Justice with a minor in Sports Management. He will also be playing football for Clarion Golden Eagles. During his years at Kane Area High School, Keaton was a member of the Kane Wolves Football, Wrestling and Basketball teams. He also was a volunteer for KARE for Kane, Little Wolves Football Camp, Little Wolves Basketball Camp and Art in the Wild. Keaton was also a Kane Little League Umpire and is an attendee at Believer’s Chapel Church Olean, NY.

 

The Gary Meckley Scholarship Fund was established to award a graduating senior and Kane Area High School track team member who has earned a two-year letter-winner, with one of those letters being earned their senior year. The graduating student must also be a track student/athlete at the college they are enrolled. The candidate is a good example of living a healthy life-style, which emulates that of Gary Meckley and what he expected of himself as an athlete and the athletes he coached. Alaina Barner is the recipient of the Gary Meckley Scholarship for $1000. Alaina is the daughter of Jason and Michele Barner. She will be attending Clarion University of PA in August 2017, majoring in Speech and Language Pathology and minoring in Audiology. Alaina would like to continue her education after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology by going to a university to obtain a doctorate in Audiology.  She would like to have a profession as a Speech Pathologist working from pediatrics up to geriatrics or as a doctor of Audiology, preferably working in her own office. During her years at Kane Area High School, Alaina was an active member in Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Class of 2017 Vice President, Hi-Life Newspaper editor, Hurri-Kane Yearbook editor, Bible Club, Trout in the Classroom, Athletic Association, National Honor Society, Prom Committee, Weightlifting Club, and painting sets for school musicals.  As a student-athlete, she participated and excelled in volleyball, basketball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and softball. In her community, Alaina has volunteered at the Barner Memorial Bowling Tournament, the Jarrett Costanzo 5K, the Lions Club 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, and the JV Kane Volleyball Tournament. In her church, Alaina has taught kindergarten and second grade religious education classes.  She has also volunteered her time serving Thanksgiving dinners to the homebound, packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and packing backpacks for the Second Harvest Backpacking Program.

 

 

The Paul Robert and Frieda Roberta Calkins Rolfe Scholarship is awarded to a graduating student continuing their education in the field of nursing or engineering from the KAHS school district and a person residing within the borough of Mount Jewett. Connor Crowley is the recipient of the Paul Robert and Frieda Roberta Calkins Rolfe Scholarship for $1000 each year for 4 years. Connor is the son of Peter John and Holly Jo Rezzelle-Crowley. Connor will attend West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV this fall. Connor was accepted as an Honor College Student into the Davis School of Agriculture where he will major in Wood Science and Technology with a double minor in Business management and Forestry. He aspires to work in Research and Development within the Wood Industry. During his years at Kane Area High School, Connors activities included Boy Scouts of America, National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, Varsity Baseball, Varsity Golf, Legion Baseball as well as numerous other activities.

MCCF established Community Foundation

The newly incorporated McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) will build a path to our collective tomorrow.

Its establishment has been spearheaded by Robert Esch, a well-known area advocate who has long espoused the need for a local community foundation. The effort began in earnest more than two years ago when Esch brought together a group of the county’s like-minded businesspeople, policymakers, volunteers and leaders to forge the path forward.

“Since the beginning we have focused on having representation from as many areas of the county as possible – Smethport, Port Allegany, Bradford, Eldred, Kane, Mount Jewett,” Esch emphasized.

“We’ve also had some discussion with existing foundations to gain an understanding of how a community foundation fits into the bigger picture,” Esch explained. “This is a partnership, not a competition.”

Community foundations are unique, grant-making public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. A community-led approach, they create locally controlled assets by bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to strengthen rural areas like McKean County. These assets build a community’s ability to shape a better future and promote the well-being of everyone who lives there.

As of 2014 there were 789 community foundations in the United States, holding assets of more than $82 billion and giving annually approximately $6.5 billion in grants. In Pennsylvania, those numbers are 37 foundations with $2.6 billion in assets providing $146.4 million in grants annually.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, rural communities receive a lower share of foundation grants than urban areas. In light of this, and given the tremendous success of foundations in surrounding counties, the need for and potential of a community foundation in McKean County could no longer be ignored.

Like the Elk County Community Foundation, the MCCF is an affiliate of the 501 (c) 3 Community Foundation of North Central Pennsylvania. These foundations build paths to the future, in part, by supporting effective non-profits.

With many worthy causes in need of help, it can be difficult for a potential donor to decide where to start. A community foundation can help to match donors to their interests, such as arts, education, economic development, health care, Little League or any other causes that share their passion; the opportunities are virtually endless. Funds can be started with cash, stock or other assets, or gifts can be pooled with other small gifts to make a significant impact. Donors can decide whether to make personalized, tax-advantaged gifts now or in the future and can work through a seamless giving process directly with the foundation or via a financial advisor.

“The beauty of this community foundation,” Esch said, “is that it provides an opportunity for philanthropy to everyone, regardless of the amount a donor may have to give; people can choose how they want to participate in community improvement.”

Jennifer Macey of Kane, co-chairperson of the MCCF Board of Directors, said, “We couldn’t have accomplished this without the guidance generously offered by the Elk County Foundation’s Dr. William Conrad, Jake Meyer and Executive Director Paula Fritz Eddy,” Macey said. “Their partnership has been invaluable.

“Our board of directors represents a group of people who are active volunteers and philanthropists themselves, who have been with this from the start. Their engagement made this happen,” she declared.

The board members and their areas of residence are: Rick Esch of Bradford, treasurer; Sara Eddy Furlong of Lewis Run, secretary; Tim Asinger of Bradford, Lori Freer of Eldred, Joe DeMott of Port Allegany, David Krantz of Bradford, Lee Sizemore of Smethport and Mandi Wilton Davis of Bradford.

Bob Esch also recognized Steering Team members Jeannine Schoenecker, Dr. Richard McDowell, Jane Luzzi, Francie Ambuske, Mike Glesk and the late Jim O’Mara for their work in establishing the foundation.

“It has been a long process with much discussion, countywide involvement and community support,” he said. “We have started something that will last forever.”

For more information, call (844) 238-2289 or e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net.

 

Photo cutline: Robert Esch (left) greets Dr. William Conrad, of both the Stackpole-Hall and Elk County Community foundations, at a recent meeting in St. Marys. Mr. Esch, who drove the establishment of the new McKean County Community Foundation, thanked Dr. Conrad for guidance provided throughout the process.