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A Little History
Steve Carden mentioned early in 2011 that he would like to see a scholarship fund started to help departments that could not afford to send members to training. In July 2011, Angie Bowen approached Stacy Rhodes on our behalf with the same interest as Steve. Stacy got Angie, Steve and I together and, after several meetings and contacting other persons of interest, we decided to start the foundation.
About the Foundation
The foundation will be independent and will operate outside of the TARS organization, with no binding ties to TARS. It will operate with an independent board of trustees. It will operate under its own 501(c)3 tax status. It will benefit the TARS training program by awarding scholarships to needy departments. At this time, scholarships will only be available to individuals taking TARS classes and will not include transportation, meals or lodging.
How will the fund work?
Funds will be invested in low risk, interest generating mutual funds, stocks and bonds. The number of scholarships funded will depend on interest generated by the principal the previous year. The principal amount will not be used to fund scholarships, thus staying in place to generate more funding.
Applications will be accepted in January. Awards will be made by the second week of February, and must be used during the calendar year awarded. An online application, as well as a paper version, will be available. Trustees of the fund will review the applications and make the selections based on the merit of the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
How Can You Help?
We need to raise $40,000 in funding to secure our principal investment, and would like to start with more. We have $20,000 in funds already promised to the foundation. We hope to raise the additional $20,000 in matching funds. Simply stated, the more base funding we receive, the more interest we earn, and the more scholarships we can give out.
Donations will be accepted at any time Donations will be tax deductible Donations may be made: • By individuals to honor a family member or friend • By squads to honor an exemplary member • By a business to honor a local squad • In your will • Anonymously
Donations may be in any amount. Those donating over $1000 will be recognized as Charter Sponsors. All donors will be recognized on the website and in publications as applicable. If the principal amount is not raised by June 2012, anything over $100 will be returned to the donor. Lesser contributions will be placed in the general fund.
There are 4500 people who are members of TARS. If each person gave $4.50 (less than the price of a fast food meal), we would have the additional $20,000 needed. There are 109 squads in TARS. If each squad gave less than $200, this goal would be met also.
Projected Time Line
October 2011: Draft charter, start 501(c)3 process, open account, select trustees January 2012: Have all administrative elements in place and let initial investment begin earning interest June 2012: Deadline for raising additional funds to move foundation forward January 2013: Begin awarding scholarships with interest from the account. We are anticipating a minimum of a 4% return on our investment and are hoping to be able to fund at least $1500 in scholarships the first year.
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