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Seneca Valley Foundation to Fund District Programs, New Band Uniforms

The nonprofit also is selling holiday ornaments crafted at the Wendell August Forge Company in Grove City to commemorate the district’s 25th anniversary.

Tagged as “The Gift of Hope, The Promise of Excellence," is funding its first student projects.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale announced the foundation, which was unveiled in March, has $25,000 in commitments—and $17,000 in the bank.

Teachers, administrators and members of the community donated the money, she said.

“We’re very proud of that, but at the same time, we don’t want to sit on that money,” she said.

Instead, the district will focus on granting money to secondary science STEM student research grants, elementary literacy and support for extracurricular activities.

The foundation will give $2,500 toward the STEM student research grants, she said. For elementary literacy, the foundation will donate $1,000 to purchase sets of Leveled Literacy Intervention Reading Books.

Vitale said the Cranberry Noon Rotary Club already purchased the leveled literacy books, which provide students with materials based on their reading comprehension levels, for the elementary schools located within Cranberry only.

The money from foundation will be used to purchase the literacy books for the schools beyond the township’s borders, including Connoquenessing Valley Elementary in Zelienople and Evans City Elementary in Evans City. 

The foundation also will give $3,000 towards the purchase of new uniforms for the Seneca Valley marching bands and its auxiliary groups.

Vitale said the uniforms, which are in their 12th year, are at the end of their life span. The uniforms only were meant to last 10 years, she added.

“So we’ve stretched them as far as we can,” she said. “We're going to do our best to stretch them even further, but we do need to be looking at new band uniforms.”

Vitale said the band’s booster organization and the band foundation also have agreed to pay 20 percent of the costs for new uniforms.

The school board is scheduled to vote next week on whether to authorize the administration to seek bids for new band uniforms. District officials expect costs for the uniforms to be around the $100,000 mark.

Donations made Easier

The foundation also has set up a social media fundraising page through Razoo.com, an online fundraising site that uses crowds sourcing methods. On the site, donors may give amounts from $10 up to $5,000 and more.

“It is using the theory that a little bit of money from everyone adds up, so donations of $10 or $20 can be given online,” Vitale said.

The Razoo page will be linked to the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Vitale said.

Commemorative Holiday Ornaments

The foundation also is selling limited edition holiday ornaments that celebrate Seneca Valley's 25th year. The keepsake was crafted at the Wendell August Forge Company in Grove City and features the district logo carved into heavy aluminum metal ware.

Linda Andreassi, Seneca Valley’s director of communications, explained that even though the school district has been around for more than 50 years, it officially became Seneca Valley in 1987. Prior to that, it was called Southwest Butler County School District.

The ornaments cost $25 each. Vitale said 250 ornaments were made and 100 already have sold.

The money from the ornaments will go to the student scholarships and other district programs, she said.

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