READFIELD – Dr. Harry Grimmnitz of Readfield, chairman of the newly formed Maranacook Education Foundation, has announced that the foundation has secured IRS certification as a 501c.3 tax-exempt organization.

The new foundation “fosters innovation and excellence in the Maranacook communities (Wayne, Mt. Vernon, Readfield, Manchester and Fayette) and schools by seeking resources and funding initiatives that will benefit learners of all ages.”

“We are excited about the new foundation,” said Grimmnitz. “The concept is a hybrid of a traditional community foundation and a traditional educational foundation. We hope to address educational needs within our communities that are outside the regular school or town budgets. There are so many ideas out there that excite teachers and learners at all level.

“We hope to play a big role in facilitating innovative and unusual methods of providing educational opportunities to community members. We also want to be a conduit for donors, corporate or individuals who would like to support the five communities in an educational endeavor.”

Mark Johnston, president of Kennebec Savings Bank, announced that the bank will provide preliminary funding to the new organization.

Initially, the foundation plans to award three competitive mini-grants of up to $1,000 to projects that have identified innovative ideas to address educational needs in the communities.

Suggestions might include travel trips for students, support of the Shakespeare Festival, art or museum trips and explorations.

The bank has also agreed to provide funds to augment initial operational needs of the foundation. Some of the funding will be used to “seed” an endowment that will eventually lead to additional grants addressing many of the educational needs and desires of the communities.

The board of directors has also established a “startup” plan that addresses how the foundation will identify needs, recruit new board members and distribute funds. The initial objectives are to provide a flexible charitable vehicle for prospective donors, and connect donors with educational and community programs and opportunities. Each town has two representatives serving on the foundation board.

Board members include the following community members who have helped initiate the early development of the foundation: Grimmnitz, Doug Boyink, Paula Lacasse, Martha Bentley, Joseph Kozak, Richard Abramson (ex officio), Peter Burbank, Thomas Cook, Peter deWolfe, Winston Kipp and Kathryn Markovchick.

Questions can be addressed to those individuals or the board as a whole by calling Grimmnitz at 685-9270, and/or e-mailing [email protected] Anyone who has an interest in participating in board committees should notify the board at: P.O. Box 133, Readfield, ME 04355.

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