A letter from the president

March 23, 2001

Dear graduates & friends:

We humbly request your financial assistance.

In December of 2000, the Sandstoner Foundation was founded as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to help meet a need that has existed for some time but has increased dramatically over the past few years. As you are all aware, Potsdam Central School has, and continues to, represent excellence in delivering a nationally recognized education. However, a dichotomy continues to exist in that the financial resources available to many residents in the Potsdam area are often not able to match the academic achievement being accomplished in the classroom. Too often, students are compelled to not continue their education or attend a particular institution of higher education based solely on the financial aid packages being offered, while still others subject themselves to insurmountable amounts of debt to pursue their goals.

Based on a study conducted by SchoolMatch for Offspring Magazine in which 15,892 school districts were reviewed throughout the country, Potsdam Central School ranked in the top 100 performing schools! For many of you, this is probably not a big surprise. The study also illustrates, however, that although the academic excellence of the school is recognized on a national level, the financial resources in the Potsdam area rank roughly in the bottom 65 % of schools surveyed.

A partial remedy is the Sandstoner Foundation. The mission of the Sandstoner Foundation is to continually raise funds for graduates of Potsdam Central School and to award scholarships based on academic performance and financial need. All funds raised will be designated for graduates; the time spent and all costs incurred—including radio ads during Clarkson hockey games, postage, the copyright friendly copy of the Offspring article, software used to track donors, and letterheads used—have (and will) be donated.

Our efforts are not unprecedented in northern New York. The public high school in Malone (Franklin Academy), has raised more than $1,000,000 over time and is able to award roughly $50,000 each year directly to students. Wouldn’t it be terrific if we were able to do this in Potsdam? As much as we couldn’t beat them on the basketball court during my tenure, let’s beat them here!

I am sure many of you valued your experience at Potsdam Central School. If you are in a position to make a contribution (tax deductible in 2001), you will directly affect the lives of graduates of Potsdam Central School. My own experience in contributing each year in honor of my grandparents has been extremely rewarding. It is—and will continue to be—communicated to each recipient that the funds received are to be viewed as a temporary loan: to be paid back to future students when they are financially able.

Certainly, we all have our unique thoughts and memories of high school and living in Potsdam. Some of mine include: Clarkson always being better than St. Lawrence in hockey; the time our family’s snow blower was stuck on the roof; Heading down south, meant, A trip to Syracuse; feeling that −20 °F was beginning to feel a little chilly; and, of course, the four seasons of the area: almost-winter, winter, still-winter, and construction!

On a more serious note, we need your help. The objective of the Sandstoner Foundation is to begin dispersing funds this June at the Senior Awards Banquet. For each dollar raised, half will be awarded this spring and at future Senior Awards Banquets, while the other half will be set aside and pooled to form an endowment, which will exist in perpetuity. Once the endowment funds reach $100,000; a spending formula will be employed that will allow an annual pay out of $5,000 for each $100,000 raised.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call or e-mail us; our e-mail address is below. Thank you for your time and consideration in giving to the Sandstoner Foundation.

Sincerely, Tim Dempsey’s signature Timothy W. Dempsey, Class of 1983
President, The Sandstoner Foundation