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Greencastle education foundation says show us the money

September 19, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, PA. - For its first six years of existence, the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation did little more than "sit around and wait for contributions to come in. Now we're going after the money," said Greg Hoover, vice president of the foundation's 10-member board.

The foundation was created in 1997 to seek grant money and donations to benefit education programs for the school district and the community at large, said Ginny Lays of Greencastle. She was hired as executive director a year ago to run the foundation and have it take a more aggressive stance in seeking funds.

During its early years, the local nonprofit foundation did little more than try to distribute money from the $300,000 that the Greencastle-Antrim School District received from the Lenfest Foundation.

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That foundation, created by Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, donated $300,000 to the Greencastle-Antrim, Waynesboro, Fannett-Metal and Tuscarora school districts. The Chambersburg Area School District, the county's largest, received $400,000.

"The Greencastle-Antrim and Fannett-Metal school districts had the vision to use their Lenfest grants for the future by creating foundations to determine how the money will be spent," Lays said.

Three days a week, she is paid by the Greencastle-Antrim School District, and two days by Fannett-Metal, she said. Lays works from home.

Hoover said Greencastle-Antrim still has most of its Lenfest grant money. Most of what has been spent goes toward Lays' salary and expenses, he said.

Her job is to go after grants, donations and other sources of money to build up the local fund. She does this by applying for state and federal grants, seeking corporate and individual donations and going through estate plans, she said.

Lays is developing an alumnae directory of Greencastle-Antrim High School graduates from 1942 through the present as a fund-raising source.

The foundation's Greencastle-Antrim board has come up with a potential list of programs that might benefit from fund-raising, Lays said.

Among goals being considered are arts, drama and music programming, preschool and after-school programs, technology expansion, mentoring programs, environmental programs at the Tayamentasachta Environmental Education Center, scholarships and educational trips for families.

Local school and community groups and agencies may call Lays at 1-717-597-1137 in September and October with requests for funds. Grants will run from $250 to $1,000, Lays said.

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