Thursday, May 05, 2016

Williams’ $25,000 donation to benefit Claverack members

williams donationweb

Officials with Williams present Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative representatives with a $25,000 check that the cooperative has used to create the Claverack Member Assistance Endowment Fund. The fund, established through the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains, will be used to provide payment assistance to low-income members struggling to keep up with their electric bills. On hand for the check presentation are, from left: James Luce, chairman of the Claverack board of directors; Matthew D. Shaffer, E&C project manager for Williams; Bobbi Kilmer, Claverack president and chief executive officer; Steve Allabaugh, Claverack director of engineering; Peter Quigg, president of the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains; Michael Atchie, Williams manager of public outreach; and Ty Christy, project developer for Williams.

 

A $25,000 donation from Williams has enabled Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative to create an endowment fund to assist cooperative members experiencing financial hardships.
The Claverack Member Assistance Endowment Fund, established through the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains, will be utilized to provide financial assistance to members of the cooperative facing difficulties paying their electric bills.
“This very generous donation from Williams will benefit Claverack and its members for many years to come,” said Claverack President & CEO Bobbi Kilmer. “We truly appreciate Williams’ generosity and commitment to the local community.”
Williams’ manager of public outreach, Michael Atchie, said the co-op was selected for the donation in appreciation of the positive working relationship that has developed between the two companies.
Claverack has extended electric lines and upgraded circuits in order to provide power to natural gas compressor stations Williams has constructed throughout the co-op’s service territory in recent years.
“Williams’ culture is to give something back to the communities where we live and work,” Atchie said. “We appreciate this opportunity to do something that will benefit the cooperative and its members. It’s indicative of the good relationship we’ve enjoyed with the organization.”
Kilmer said the co-op decided to utilize the donation from Williams as seed money for the creation of the endowment fund.
Claverack will be adding unclaimed capital credits monies to the fund for a period of years in order to achieve a self-sustaining source of funding. The cooperative would then be able to utilize up to 5 percent of the fund’s value for member assistance grants without the need to touch the fund’s principal.
The CEO added that Claverack doesn’t anticipate the need to tap into the endowment fund for a number of years because the co-op currently has adequate member assistance funding available to members experiencing financial hardships through its HOPE program and Operation Round-up.
Those programs are designed to provide assistance with electric bill payments to qualifying low-income members as well as those who have experienced unexpected financial hardships.
Operation Round-up is funded by cooperative members who voluntarily agree to have their monthly electric bill “rounded-up” to the next dollar amount. The round-up amount, which can be no more than 99 cents per month, is earmarked for member assistance. The HOPE program utilizes unclaimed capital credits refunds to provide financial assistance to qualified low-income members.
The idea behind the Claverack Member Assistance Endowment Fund is to provide for the continuation of member-assistance funding should the co-op experience a reduction in unclaimed capital credits in the future.
“We have an adequate supply of money now for our member assistance initiatives, but that may not be the case down the road,” Kilmer explained. “With the creation of the endowment fund, we are ensuring that we will always have financial assistance available to help qualified members who may be in jeopardy of losing their electric service due to non-payment.”
As with all community foundation endowments, the Claverack Member Assistance Endowment Fund can receive additional tax-deductible contributions from the general public. Contributions can be sent to the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains at 270 Lake Ave., Montrose, Pa., 18801 or made online at www.community-foundation.org.
In addition to its new Member Assistance Endowment, the cooperative also holds the Claverack Education Fund at the Community Foundation. The education fund helps support the Skills USA programs at the Northern Tier Career Center and the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.
A member-owned, non-profit utility, Claverack serves approximately 18,000 consumers in Bradford, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Tioga, Lycoming, Sullivan, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
Williams, with headquarters in Tulsa, Okla., is an energy infrastructure company focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids. Williams owns and operates midstream gathering and processing assets, and interstate natural gas pipelines.

 

Ayres-Stone VFW Endowment Serves Montrose Schools

VFW LogoThe Ayres-Stone Post of the VFW located in Montrose recently established a permanent charitable endowment fund with The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains. The fund will provide annual grants to the schools of the Montrose Area School District to assist student clubs, organizations, and classes that are comprised of students who exhibit a genuine concern for the betterment of the schools and the greater community in general. The Ayres-Stone Post has a long tradition of supporting a broad array of community and educational activities, and the Ayres-Stone VFW Charitable Endowment Fund will help the post continue that tradition. Quarter Master Richard Geiger points out that the general membership of the post felt it was important to recognize the accomplishments of our region’s young people and to lend support to their worthy efforts.

“This new endowment will provide a reliable and growing base of funding that Ayres-Stone will be able to utilize for many generations to come,” said Peter Quigg, Community Foundation president. Montrose Area Superintendent, Carol Boyce, adds “We are so appreciative of this opportunity to recognize our students for their service to the school community and the greater community in which they live. It is even more meaningful since it comes from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a group whose service has meant so much to us all. They have set an excellent example for our young people to follow in offering their own service for the greater good.” To help enhance its value and its granting ability for our local students, this new fund can always receive additional tax-deductible donations, which can be sent to The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains; 270 Lake Avenue Montrose, PA 18801 or made online at www.community-foundation.org.

Women Helping Women Annual Brunch and Available Grants

This April, The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains will host the fifth annual brunch for its Women Helping Women endowment. Bring your mom, sister, daughter, or friend to celebrate Mother’s Day by meeting groups and individuals of the Endless Mountains who are concerned with women’s issues and practical solutions. Plus, meet the 2016 grant recipients.

Women Helping Women pools donations and volunteers to create a larger impact than any one of us could make individually. As a charitable fund of the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains, the group provides annual charitable grants to regional organizations addressing issues important to women. Various agencies that have received support from the permanent endowment include Women’s Resource Center, Trehab, CareNet, Interfaith, Area Agency on Aging B/S/S/T, Children’s Advocacy Center and Tigress.

Applications are available online now for 2016 grants. The 2016 funding priority is education. All nonprofits serving women of the Endless Mountains are encouraged to apply online at www.community-foundation.org. The 2016 recipients will be announced and grants presented at this year’s brunch. The application deadline is April 4, 2016.

For more information about the Women Helping Women fund, contact Executive Director Cristine Clayton at 570 278 3800. For more information about the Community Foundation’s charitable endowments, email the Foundation This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pump N Pantry Supports Pre-School Education

Pump n PantryFor the ninth consecutive year Pump N Pantry Convenience Stores, headquartered in Montrose, has contributed to the Pennsylvania Education Improvement Tax Credit Program administered by The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains. For the 2015-2016 academic-year the corporation has contributed funding which will help The Community Foundation provide tuition assistance to more than 130 students from low and moderate income families who attend Pre-Schools in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming Counties.

The Community Foundation has administered the Education Improvement Program since 2003 and in that time has raised more than $2,000,000 for education assistance for thousands of students attending 50 Pre-K through Secondary schools in eight counties, as well as funding projects in numerous public school districts. Since 2007 Pump N Pantry has generously contributed more than $50,000 to The Community Foundation’s Pre-School tuition assistance program.

Community Foundation President, Peter Quigg, states that “We appreciate very much the support that Pump N Pantry has provided for our Pre-School tuition assistance over the years. We are helping young parents whose children are just beginning their educational journeys, and this is an important time in their lives.” Pump N Pantry President, Scott Quigg, adds “I am pleased that Pump N Pantry can help students in our communities attend Pre-School and begin to build the educational and social skills that will help them succeed when they enter elementary school.” Pump N Pantry and The Community Foundation serve a similar territory with Pump N Pantry having stores in many regions where these Pre-Schools are located, such as Great Bend, New Milford, Montrose, Nicholson, Tunkhannock, and Lake Winola. For more information about Pump N Pantry please visit www.pumpnpantry.com. For more information about the work of The Community Foundation please visit www.community-foundation.org.

Community Foundation Announces 2016 College Scholarships

The Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains is pleased to announce that for the Class of 2016 high school graduates more than $109,000 in tuition assistance is available for college and post-secondary degree expenses. Furthermore, if a winner of a Community Foundation scholarship attends college within Pennsylvania there may be the potential of additional funding provided by the Pennsylvania PATH Program (Partners for Access to Higher Education). The Community Foundation is recognized as a PATH Partner by PHEAA, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

These scholarships are available to students from public school districts in Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties. To see if Community Foundation scholarships are available for your school district please visit www.community-foundation.org. Scholarship applications can be completed online from February 15th until March 28th. Winners will be announced at the various award ceremonies conducted by the school districts in the spring.

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