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New foundation aims to benefit Plum students and programs

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Plum School Board members brace themselves for budget discussions each year as revenue continues to shrink and costs are on the rise.

The 2013-14 budget talks were no exception. That's when board member Tom McGough got an idea.

McGough, who is finance-committee chairman, proposed establishing the Plum Borough School District Foundation for Educational Enhancement to raise money for activities and programs for students beyond what the school district budget can provide.

McGough said an initial gift of $5,000 was given to the district more than 20 years ago by the DiPaolo family in memory of the late Nunzio V. DiPaolo, who served as superintendent in the Plum School District from 1958 to 1983.

“Time has passed, and it (initial funding) wasn't utilized,” said former district Superintendent Lillian Naccarati, the president of the foundation's board of trustees. “We resurrected it to a foundation.”

The foundation initially will support student scholarships, teacher grants and selected capital projects that would benefit all students, Naccarati said.

The group is in the process of obtaining its nonprofit status, McGough said. Margaret Evans, former district assistant superintendent, is the foundation's vice president.

“Necessity truly is the mother of invention,” McGough said. “With funding for public education shrinking and the costs of public education ever rising, I proposed the Plum Education Foundation to our board last year during budget deliberations.”

McGough said current Superintendent Timothy Glasspool led the effort to bring together a group of educational leaders to get the foundation off the ground.

“I am thrilled with the exceptional effort of the committee to make the dream a reality in just one year,” McGough said.

Naccarati, who served as superintendent in the Plum School District from 2008 through the first semester of 2012, said she decided to get involved with the work of the foundation because she has a “vested interest” in the district.

“I have five grandchildren who attend Plum schools,” Naccarati said. “I want to help the district in any way I can.”

McGough said the group's kickoff banquet is scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Edgewood Country Club in Churchill. Naccarati said the goal is to have 200 people attend the banquet.

In addition to the dinner, the event will include an auction of student artwork, a musical performance by Plum students, a silent auction, chances to win gift baskets and a raffle.

“It will be a wonderful evening to celebrate the creation of the new foundation,” Naccarati said.

The next meeting of the board of trustees is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in the school board conference room at the high school, 900 Elicker Road. McGough sees the foundation in time having a significant impact.

“My dream is that this (the foundation) could become a significant revenue stream,” he said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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