BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER, STAFF WRITER Published: July 15, 2015
KINGSTON — The Wyoming Valley West Educational Foundation is officially a nonprofit organization that can accept tax-deductible donations.
The organization plans to launch a website in about six weeks and hopes to raise at least $40,000 in the next year to fund various projects that promote education in the Wyoming Valley West School District, foundation board President Michael Plaskin said.
Plaskin, a 1974 Wyoming Valley West High School graduate who lives in southern California, was back in his hometown of Kingston on Tuesday for the foundation board’s annual meeting.
The IRS approved the foundation’s status as a 501c3 nonprofit two weeks ago.
About a year ago, foundation backers revived a stalled plan to develop the Spartan Foundation, Plaskin said. The reason for the name change was to emphasize that the foundation is not a booster club, Plaskin said.
Plaskin envisions the foundation as “a supporting arm to the school district.” It won’t fund facility projects or pay salaries, he said.
The district’s annual budget is $72 million. More than $49 million is earmarked for employee pay and benefits.
District teachers have provided ideas for projects to fund. Most involve technology purchases, while others involve art, music and field trips, said Plaskin, who works in sales and marketing.
Plaskin said he first got involved with helping his former high school two decades ago when he acquired 25 computers for a computer lab. He said he worked with Boscov’s department store and Packard Bell, his employer at the time, on that project.
“My heart is always here,” Plaskin said.
The foundation board has 15 members. Beth Dal Santo is executive director.
The web address will be wvweducationalfoundation.com. It will let donors fund certain projects or purchases, Plaskin said.
Interested donors can also contact Dal Santo at 570-498-9138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.