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Archive for August, 2013

rakoff19rv1

Not so many summers ago, we loaded the grandchildren into the car, drove down past Holden Tipple, over the river and through the woods, to the little town where the Volunteer Firemen were putting on the Fireworks for the Fourth. It’s a pretty little town from another century, like others I guess, a big old brick place on the outskirts, then the town itself, a half-dozen well-kept yards, big porches. Then, a derelict storehouse–three stories, big as a bank, but decrepit, waiting for a big storm to take it down. Turn there, and as you go toward the PO, the road begins to give way, til at last you’re at the interstate exit, which means abandoned gas station, green-swagged with junipers and yews gone wild. The concrete crumbled with weather and disuse, but the Sky opens up here, above the truck lanes and the no-man’s land of the medians. This is the place – with room for the scores of cars and pickups – where we all wait for the dark to arrive.

What can I say about David Rakoff’s last book, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, (Doubleday, 2013), recommended to me by Charles, thank you, Charles.

Why does this book remind me of the spangles of that fireworks night, all our collective gasps, and shrieks with each new blooming glittering display that builds and builds, the black sky as we waited for the next, and at last, the night sky with ancient billion stars still there at its end. Rakoff’s astonishing brio and imagination at what was the end of his wild journey infuses every piece of this raucous, intense set of portraits (in verse no less, but don’t let that put you off) that make up this novel. It’s novel alright, but seems a book beyond any such familiar categories–part ballad, part sentimental education, part picaresque, part memoir–all amazing. And it’s a book that builds and builds.

Far from despair or morality tale–the book, published after his death, fairly jumps with his fertile imagination and memory. Though it opens with the Dickensian tale of Margaret, her innocence and its aftermath, Rakoff uses his close look at Margaret, her mother, and then charactert after arriving or reappearing character, Josh, Clifford, Aunt Sally, and others–to knit together his wild tale of life. His portraits just skirt the sentimental, yet like all writing that moves us, never fears it. Rakoff gives us just enough of the outrageous to be true to his youth–and again and again, the very tenderness that saves our time on earth. I think now of a title from Maxine Kumin, Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief. Rakoff’s life force going full-out even at the close–that’s what stays with me: this writer like a glorious Roman cnadle giving forth rush after rush of spangled glories, before the quiet night. Even the title feels finallyy like a reduction-to essentialsw, that is. All this and yes, in verse, -some of his rhymes astonishing! -as if he wanted to give all and try all. This is a book not afraid above all to cherish these particular characters, to hold them up to the light, their histories, his memories, right til the end of time. Judy Rock

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clarion2

Funds started by former superintendents

PHOTO L-R: Former Clarion Superintendents Dr. George White, Dr. Joseph Fotos, and Dr. William Kaufman created the Bobcat Funds to receive and disburse monies to benefit students of the Clarion Area School District.

The Clarion County Community Foundation and Bridge Builders Community Foundations have partnered to establish a family of funds designed to receive and disburse monies to benefit students of the Clarion Area School District.

The Clarion Area Bobcat Funds are two specific funds established to provide a framework for the creation of additional funds.  The initial funds are: the Bobcat General Scholarship Fund and the Bobcat Undesignated Fund.

The General Scholarship Fund is an endowed fund restricted to fund income in excess of a minimum market value principal of $100,000.

The Undesignated Fund is a non-endowed fund with no distribution restrictions from principal or income sources.  Initiatives this fund will support include arts programs, student activities, school-community partnerships, and innovative instructional practices.

Dr. Bill Kaufman, a former Clarion Area school District superintendent and board president of the Clarion County Community Foundation and member of the Bridge Builders board of trustees is pleased to have these two funds available for students in the Clarion community.

It’s important to have a long-range plan for supporting students in our community.  We need to make sure we have the resources needed to ensure students have opportunities to benefit from an enhanced educational experience.”

The funds were created by former Clarion superintendents including Kaufman, Dr. George White, and Dr. Joseph Fotos.  Kaufman adds, “George had the idea for a foundation-type group and I approached the Clarion County Community Foundation and Bridge Builders since I serve on their boards.  George and I asked Joe Fotos to work with us, and the result of our discussions was the establishment of the Bobcat Funds.  Moving forward, Dr. White will lead efforts to promote public awareness and develop a plan for raising funds.”

A steering committee will provide oversight for all the Bobcat Funds’ operations and activities.  This committee will consist of Clarion Area School District alumni, faculty, board members, administrators, and retired educators, plus a representative of the foundation.  Initial steering committee members will be selected by the fund creators.  “We all received a lot from our service as superintendents, and this is a great way for us to collectively give back.”

Bridge Builders Executive Director, Trenton Moulin, says, “We are seeing more student-focused funds being established regionally, and the Bobcat Funds will be a nice addition to the Clarion community overall by providing the type of funding that can support educational, cultural, and community programs for students outside of the school’s programs.”

Duties of the Steering Committee will be: oversight for activities within the family of Bobcat Funds, fundraising and asset development, creation of additional funds, recommendations for expenditures within the family of Bobcat Funds, promotion of Bobcat Funds’ purposes and programs, input for growth and expansion of Bobcat Funds, and coordination of its activities with the Clarion County Community Foundation.

The Steering Committee will meet as needed but not less than once per year to review Bobcat Funds’ activities.  The funds will be used to benefit students, and not to supplement the funding of programs by the Clarion Area School District.

Students and organizations that support programs and activities designed to directly benefit students may apply to be recipients of the Bobcat Funds’ grants.  Disbursement of funds will be to non-profit organizations solely.  Educational entities, political subdivisions and 501(c)3 non-profit groups may receive funds that support student activities, programs or educational opportunities.

Additional funds that may be created under Bobcat Funds are: scholarship funds, field of interest funds, and donor advised funds.  Additional funds may be endowed or non-endowed as determined by the fund creators.  Every type of fund, either endowed or non-endowed, may be created as a memorial fund.

                        Contributions of any amount can be mailed to:       

                              Bridge Builders Community Foundations
                              206 Seneca Street
                              National Transit Building, Suite 10
                              Oil City, PA 16301

Please include  a memo for Bobcat Fund, and which fund you are contributing to: endowed or non-endowed.  Contributions may be made in honor of an individual or organization.  Donations received to support any of the Bobcat Funds are fully tax deductible donations under applicable federal and state laws.

More information is online at http://www.BridgeBuildersCommunityFoundations.org.

 

If you have any questions contact:

                   Mr. Trenton E. Moulin, Executive Director

                    Bridge Builders Community Foundations

                               206 Seneca Street

                    Transit Building Annex – Suite 10

                              Oil City, PA    16301

                         Telephone: (814) 677-8687

                     E-mail: execdirbbcf@gmail.com

     Foundations’ Website:   http://bridgebuilderscommunityfoundations.org/

 
                       Trenton E. Moulin, Executive Director

                 Bridge Builders Community Foundations Inc.
 
            Affiliates: 
                          Clarion County Community Foundation
                           Forest County Community Foundation
                           Venango Area Community Foundation
 
                                        execdirbbcf@gmail.com
 
                                               206 Seneca Street
                               National Transit Building Annex, Suite 10
                                               Oil City, PA 16301
                                                  814-677-8687
 
                    “Your VisionYour PassionYour Legacy

 

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