BCSF Announces Quyurramta Fund to Assist Lower Kuskokwim School District
Media Contact: Michelle DeWitt, BCSF 545-6052 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact for LKSD: Joy Shantz 543-4810 email@example.com
In response to the November 3, 2015 fire at the Kilbuck school facility in Bethel, Bethel Community Services Foundation has established an emergency fund to benefit the Kuskokwim Learning Academy and Ayaprun Elitnaurvik schools. Named the Quyurramta Fund, or “All of Us Together”, this fund will be dedicated to fire relief needs – both for emergent needs and for efforts to re-establish the schools- and was formed in collaboration with the Lower Kuskokwim School District. The fund will be used to manage the contributions from individual donors and local fundraising efforts, as well as corporate and philanthropic contributions.
Both the Ayaprun Elitnaurvik and Kuskokwim Learning Academy schools were heavily damaged in the fire. Both schools now have temporary locations, and the district is in the process of assessing immediate needs as well as developing strategy for school locations for the spring semester and establishing plans for permanent facilities.
“This fire has destroyed so much more than buildings,” said Dan Walker, LKSD superintendent. “Both schools have incredibly important missions. Both build strong senses of self among their students. It is critical that we rebuild these schools so they can continue their work in language and cultural preservation, and dropout prevention.”
“There has been an incredible outpouring of support for the schools that were devastated by the fire,” said Michelle DeWitt, Executive Director of BCSF. “Many people and groups have expressed concern and want to provide help. This fund will create an opportunity for all those contributions and proceeds from fundraising efforts to be centralized in one established fund.”
DeWitt said that BCSF can provide assistance in the tracking and implementation of the funds, which will all be spent as intended by donors- to support the emergent and longer-term needs of the schools. “Our community foundation is structured to accept and implement charitable contributions for designated purposes such as this. The fire was a tragedy for our community, and this is one way BCSF can help with efforts to move forward,” DeWitt said.
Janelle Vanasse, director of secondary education at LKSD, said the name of the fund is intentional and captures the spirit of the community in the wake of the fire. “Quyurramta is a term LKSD has been using with some of our efforts across the district. All of us together- that perfectly describes the collective response to this emergency and the long-term efforts we have before us to rebuild.”
Contributions to the fund, which are tax-deductible, can be made via the Bethel Community Services Foundation website- www.bcsfoundation.org- using the Quyurramta Fund link. Contributions may also be mailed to BCSF, Attention Quyurramta Fund, at PO Box 2189; Bethel, AK 99559. BCSF can process in-person cash transactions and credit card transactions (credit card transactions may also be made via phone). Contributions made directly to LKSD or through other efforts will be transferred to the Quyurramta Fund. People with questions are encouraged to call Michelle DeWitt at BCSF at (907) 543-1812 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.