Join the Challenge!

Posted on February 9, 2015, in Events, Lancer Life

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The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority is challenging Erie County’s 13 public school district foundations to grow their endowments and is committing up to $200,000 in matching funds for dollars raised through December 31, 2016. The School District Foundation Endowment Challenge officially kicked off last week – and with the opportunity to raise more than $40,000, the General McLane Foundation gladly accepts the Challenge.

Foundations that choose to enroll in The Challenge are eligible for 1:1 matching funds of up to $5 per student. The matching period begins January 1, 2015, and ends December 31, 2016.

Since early 2014, ECGRA representatives have been convening foundation leaders to build their organizational and fundraising capacity. This month, those leaders will launch fundraising campaigns with hopes of earning every matching dollar available to them.

“Local Education Foundations make a huge difference in public school systems because they invest in the future for our students and provide a creative funding stream that supports the empowerment of students,” said General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “Through this ECGRA’s Challenge, the General McLane Foundation endowment will grow and impact not only the students of today, but the students of tomorrow. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to make an even bigger impact on our students, which has been made possible through ECGRA.”

The matching contributions will be key for growing the General McLane Foundation and will have a dramatic and direct impact on General McLane students. These funds will be dispersed among student scholarships, innovative educational programs and capital improvements of student facilities. Through the Grant Challenge, the General McLane Foundation hopes to spread awareness of the Foundation and spur new ideas for Foundation Projects to which these funds can also be distributed.

Erie County’s public schools serve more than 40,000 students in 13 districts: Corry Area, Erie City, Fairview, Fort LeBoeuf, General McLane, Girard, Harborcreek, Iroquois, Millcreek, North East, Northwestern, Union City, and Wattsburg. While superintendents and staff are highly supportive of growing their respective endowments, all 13 foundations are their own nonprofit, autonomous, community-supported entities.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. The foundation’s sole responsibility is to raise and distribute monies for the district to afford initiatives not covered by local, state, and federal funding. Some of the projects that the General McLane Foundation has recently funded include more than $235,000 for the installation of the artificial turf at Linden Field, more than $120,000 in student scholarships, $79,000 toward royalties and costumes for The Phantom of the Opera, the Elementary Balanced Literacy initiative and hands-on science programs, and a variety of middle school projects, including an online reading program, an autobiography project, the Lego NEXT Robotics curriculum and an Apple TV.

ECGRA’s Challenge comes alongside the foundations’ efforts with the goals of strengthening public schools and their adjoining neighborhoods, fostering development in Erie’s future workforce, and abating poverty.

“This Challenge is truly a partnership for success of our public school students and our regional economy,” said ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood. “There is a direct correlation between an educated workforce, economic growth, and social change.”

Foundations participating in the Challenge will raise funds for a variety of district needs, including innovative curriculum, college scholarships, teacher professional development, arts education, STEM programs, and technology improvements. For more information or to donate today, please visit our Foundation Page.