PELLSTON – According to representatives of the fund, the first contributions to the educational fund Pellston far exceeded expectations.
The fund’s original fundraising campaign, Founders ’Corner, raised more than $ 55,000 from more than 100 different donors.
“We are just shocked by the tremendous support we have received,” said Carlin Smith, president of the foundation.
Smith said the community’s generosity assures that the foundation will begin its work on a solid basis.
In August, the foundation received official status, and in October, members of the Board of Trustees officially presented the foundation to the public.
“The funds we raised came to us in just three months,” Smith said.
He said donors include district businesses, alumni, current and former teachers and administrators and some area residents who have heard the foundation’s history and wanted to give.
A list of the Founders’ Corner participants can be found on the Foundation’s website at www.pellstonschools.org and by clicking on the Foundation’s tab at the top of the page.
The foundation plans to award its first scholarships this spring to students of Pelston Public Schools, and the board will also explore grant opportunities to support the school’s educational programs.
“We thought it might be a year or two before we could give at that level, but we can start right away,” Smith said.
The inspiration for the fund was Blake Wagenschutz, a 2011 Pelston graduate who died in a motorcycle accident last April.
Blake’s parents, Mark and Kim Wagenschutz, were longtime teachers and coaches at Pellston, and they set up a scholarship fund in Blake’s memory to support students in the construction and trade program at Pellston. The need for a mechanism for investing, managing and distributing these funds was the birth of the fund.
In addition to the Wagenschutz Scholarship, the foundation will also manage the Pellston Alumni Foundation / Reunification. There were also two generous donors who gave gifts to set up two other scholarship funds to be announced later.
Smith said contributions to the fund are always welcome, and donors can do so through the website or by sending a donation to the Pellston Education Foundation, PO Box 224, Pellston, MI 49769.
The mission of the foundation is to enrich the learning opportunities for students of Pelstan Public Schools through scholarships and grants.