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October 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 2, 2014

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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-21 ti Business-funded grants to benefit students By LLOYD MULLEN Iloyd@masoncounty.com Every year, schools in Mason County send lists of required supplies for the school year to students' families. In the first semester of school last year, Susan- na Samuelson, a business-development officer for Our Community Credit Union (OCCU) in Shelton, spent no less than $60 on school supplies for each of her two children. Before the second semester started, Samuelson had to buy more supplies for her children. "I have two children in middle school right now, and I noticed the need right away," she said. "As children get into sixth and seventh grade, their back-to-school supplies bill came out to more than when they were younger," the mother of two explained. "The middle of the year, we had to re- buy paper, binders, pencils, pens. They go through so much. I know people here at the credit union who wouldn't be ableto afford that. Imagine if you have three or four (children)." That's where the Community Partner Education Grant comes in. The first person she reached out to about the idea for a grant was her dentist, Dr. Katherine Ketcher of Shelton Dental Center. "She's already a part of the credit-union family, and I also know justj from talking to her, she's re- ally passionate about the education system," Sam, uelson said. After her dentist got on board, Samuelson went to other businesses to funct her proposed grant: Green Diamond Resource Co., Elma Family Den- tal, Simpson Lumb*er' Co.i and Vaughan Chopper Pump. Samuelson said she intends to reach out to more businesses next year but wants to keep it small for the first year. "The partners were very clear too," OCCU mar- keting specialist Mindi Brock said. "The vision was to keep it (the application process) simple for the teachers to let them have access to apply for this grant. We didn't want them to have to jump through hoops and hoops and hoops of paperwork. It's more of what they need." The amount that will be awarded to the class- rooms that request the grant is "generous", accord- ing to Samuelson. The maximum amount that each class can re- ceive is $1,000. There is no minimum, Samuelson said. Grant awards will be available to K-12 class- rooms/schools in south Mason and east Grays Susanna Samuelson and Mindi Brock of Our during an interview with the Journal. Journal photo by Lloyd Mullen Community'Credit Union sit Sept. 25 in their joint office schools for a few years. |6The ~idd|e of the year~ "My two very dear friends are teachers," she ' ' said. "Like most friends do, we go shopping. We " ' we had to rehuy paper1 were at Costco, and she started dumping school , supplies in her cart. I asked her about it and she - binders, penci|s, pens, They " said i~; was normal that teachers spend money on classrooms supplies." g0 through so | , Sial uelson said she thought that was unfortu- nate. people here at the credit Last year, she joined the PTSO (Parent Teacher - ,Studelat Organization) to become more involved in ' ~]O~ ~t~h~ WO~|~t ~e ~|e her children's education. Shortly after joining, she came up with the idea of creating a grant program for the school. o 0 , In June, she took that idea to the vice president Susanna Samuelson, of marketing for OCCU, Daris Devaney. "She basically said, 'have fun,' " Samuelson ex- business-development officer, plained. "I already had a full plate but felt it was Our Community Credit Union important." If everything goes well this year, teachers will Harbor counties. The amount awarded is basedbe able to re-apply for grants next year. If they do on merit and need, a news release from OCCU request funds again, the teachers will need to show states, the community partners what effect the grant had Applications must be signed by both the teacher on their classrooms. requesting it and the principal. If the grantee is "The most rewarding part will be when we give awarded money, it must be used for the sole pur- the checks to the school," Samuelson said. pose stated in the application. Grant applications are available online at ourcu. The purpose of the grant is not to subsidize pay, corn, sheltndentalcenter'cm' and elmafamilyden- teacher salaries, teacher training, teacher sti- tal.com. pends, or teacher travel-related expenses. All application requests must be postmarked by Samuelson said she has been involved with the Dec. 31. BUSINESS BRIEFS Mason County Journal and Chamber team up Candidates in the general election will appear from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Olympic Middle School commons for a candidate forum. Candidates running for state representative posi- tions 1 and 2 and state senator in the 35th District and 6th and 10th Congressional Districts are ex- pected to attend. The event is hosted by the Mason County Journal and Shelton Mason County Chamber. This year, the two businesses are partnering with Masonwebtv. com. The candidate forum is open to the general pub- lic. There is no cost to attend. For more information, call 426-2021. Peninsula Credit Union incentivizes saving cash In April, Peninsula Credit Union introduced Save to Win, a contest designed to persuade its members to save money. Save to Win is a special savings certificate that helps members build their savings while also giv- ing them chances to win a $5,000 annual prize, plus mon h/y and quarter/y cash prizes. Each $25 dep0sJt into this certificate helps to build savings and creates another chance to win," a news release from the com- pany states. Members can qualify for up to 10 chances to win every month for a total of 120 possible entries a year. The savings certificate is a 12-month certificate that allows members of the credit union to save money. The minimum to open the account is $25. There is no minimum or maximum deposit requirement. Members receive raffle entries for every $25 increase from the previous month's balance. Save to Win accounts are offered exclusively through credit unions. "Encouraging healthy saving habits while providing an opportunity to accrue additional funds is exactly what the credit union difference is about. The Save to Win certificate is another way for credit tmions as a whole, and PCU in particular, W educate members about tenable savings options and to serve the commu- nity in a very practical, exciting way," the credit union stated in its news release. For more information on Save to Win, go to pcfcu. org. Compiled by reporter Lloyd Mullen I 1 r NT |1] I [ 1 ]11i ] 111 i iii , -: r I ill[I II lil [i