Scholarships

Representatives of Bradford Area School District and the McKean County Community Foundation celebrate the transfer of nearly $187,000 in scholarships from the district’s care to the foundation’s care. From left are Paula Fritz Eddy, executive director of the McKean County Community Foundation; Bob Esch, board president of the community foundation; Katharine Pude, BASD superintendent; Judy Bodamer, director of finance at the school district; and Lynne Eschrich, guidance secretary at Bradford Area High School.

A new partnership with the McKean County Community Foundation and Bradford Area School District means extra funding for local scholarship recipients — up to twice as much.

“To date 11 of the scholarships held at the district have transferred nearly $187,000 to the Foundation for administration and there are still a few more accounts that may be interested in exploring collaboration with the Community Foundation,” according to a press release from Paula Fritz Eddy, executive director of the foundation.

Eddy explained that the foundation “is a non-profit organization that strives to strengthen our region through development, stewardship and grant making as it works with donors to achieve their philanthropic goals.”

Regarding the Bradford scholarships that were just transferred, the community foundation will help grow the funds, as well as administer the school district’s scholarship program.

“It’s great for the recipients of the scholarship, too,” noted Bob Esch, board president of the foundation, at a gathering of the foundation and school district on Wednesday.

Not only will the foundation help grow the funds themselves, the new partnership means that scholarship recipients will now be eligible for additional educational funding through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

“One of the most important benefits is the McKean County Community Foundation is a PATH partner with PHEAA,” Eddy explained. “As a partner with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH), the Community Foundation scholarship recipients are nominated for matching funds and often receive additional grants from PHEAA.”

Bradford scholarships that have been transferred are the Andrus Family Good Citizenship Award; BAHS Class of 1960 Scholarship; Andrew Taylor Recognition Award; Ernest C. Tanner Memorial Scholarship; Elzear Kalstrom Schoch English Scholarship; Garrick S. Anderson Memorial Scholarship; Mary Motty Memorial Scholarship; Rodney Schoch Band Scholarship; Samuel F. Heffner Sr. Memorial Scholarship; Timothy S. Epsen Memorial Scholarship; and the Bradford Area Fire Department Scholarship.

As Eddy explained, these scholarships represent decades of giving in the Bradford community.

“There’s some that are 40 years old” that were left in estate plans, she noted. Others are newer, such as the BAHS Class of 1960 Scholarship and the Garrick S. Anderson Memorial Scholarship.

Until now, the school district had been holding all above scholarships, some of them in the role of trustee, she noted.

“The benefits of partnership will bring many more scholarship opportunities to area students as they pursue their higher education,” Eddy added.

Bradford is the second school district in McKean County to partner with an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Northern Alleghenies, according to Eddy. She explained the Kane Area School District transferred funds to the Elk County Community Foundation close to 10 years ago.

The Community Foundation of the Northern Alleghenies is the parent organization for both the McKean County and Elk County community foundations. The Kane scholarship transfer occurred before the formation of the McKean County Community Foundation, which was established in 2017.

Eddy described the role of the McKean County Community Foundation as so: “The Foundation manages charitable funds, grows them through sound investment policies, and distributes grants to local non-profit organizations and scholarships to students.

“Many school districts have placed their scholarship funds with community foundations for investment because Pennsylvania School Code restricts investments to certain types of low-risk, low-earning investments. The partnership will offer multiple benefits and help grow the scholarship program for the Bradford schools,” she said.

Eddy noted that the McKean County Community Foundation is accepting donations to any of those scholarships. Donating is as simple as mailing a check to the foundation at: McKean County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 708, Bradford, PA 16701. People can also donate by phone at 844-238-2289 or online at mckeancountyfoundation.org.

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