New Fund Established to Support Catholic Education
The Elk County Community Foundation recently made the first distribution of the R. Thomas and Mary Rita Valentine Charitable Fund for the Elk County Catholic School System (ECCSS). Tom and Mary Rita had both worked and retired from Stackpole Carbon Company. They were members of Queen of the World Church, devout in their faith and active in their community.
Tom and Mary Rita were supportive of Catholic education and together they made provisions in their estate plans to provide funding for this purpose. They chose to come to the Elk County Community Foundation to ensure that funds would be available for the Catholic schools in our area for generations to come. Each year going forward a portion the R. Thomas and Mary Rita Valentine Charitable Fund will be awarded with half of the gift being allocated for tuition assistance and the other half benefiting the general operations of the Elk County Catholic School System.
Tom Wagner, the Valentine’s lawyer and estate planner of Meyer & Wagner Law Offices, and Tom Fledderman, the couple’s financial advisor and Trust Officer from Northwest Savings Bank, were on hand for the first distribution of the fund. Both gentlemen worked with the Valentines as they created their legacy. Attorney Wagner said that once he realized the Valentines wanted to support their community he began to help them fulfill their charitable goals. A gift through the Community Foundation seemed to best accomplish Tom and Mary Rita’s objectives of keeping local control of the funds while supporting Catholic education. Tom Fledderman also said that educating his clients about their options is so important in financial planning. Fledderman commented “when long term gifts are the objective, I try to inform them about the Community Foundation and how it can help them give a gift that will give back to the community forever.”
Sam MacDonald, ECCSS president, commented that a gift to the Community Foundation complements the school system’s endowed funds to help ensure there will always be Catholic education in St. Marys. More tuition assistance means more help for our families, and operating dollars certainly help keep the cost of tuition low. “Words cannot adequately express our schools’ appreciation for the Valentines contribution,” said MacDonald.
The mission of the Elk County Community Foundation is to strengthen our region through development, stewardship and grant making as donors achieve their philanthropic goals. Its vision is to connect people who care with causes that matter. The Foundation assists donors in starting a Fund to benefit nearly any charitable organization or cause that they have a vested interest in, whether as a named fund or in the memory of a deceased family member or friend. The R. Thomas and Mary Rita Valentine Charitable Fund for the Elk County Catholic School System is one of 110 different funds the ECCF manages. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Foundation’s Executive Director, Paula Fritz Eddy at 814-834-2125 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at www.elkcountyfoundation.com.
Pictured from left to right are Tom Fledderman, Sam MacDonald, Paula Fritz Eddy, and Tom Wagner