MASSENA -- The Massena Music Friends have designated the Watertown-based Northern New York Community Foundation to administer the funds they raise to support the music program in Massena Schools.
The foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization established 1929, will be the main repository for the money raised by MMF, which will be made available to the Massena Central School District on an as-needed basis to sustain and enhance music education opportunities for students at all grade levels.
“School programs, especially the arts, are really feeling the budget pinch these days,” said MMF President Paul A. Haggett. “We feel great that the Northern New York Community Foundation can help put our group in a better position to help our cause, Massena music,” he said.
MMF points to studies that show how strong arts programs help reduce dropout rates, improve student test scores and enhance team building, creative thinking and personal discipline.
“We are very fortunate in Massena to have a strong music program. Massena Music Friends looks forward to working with the district and the Northern New York Community Foundation to keep our program strong,” said Haggett.
MMF board member and volunteer co-chair Pat Tubbs, who has years of experience as a fundraising consultant in the region, says the partnership with the foundation makes sense for everyone involved.
“Affiliating with the NNY Community Foundation will enable MMF to provide donors with a personal income tax deduction for their support and gives those donors the peace of mind to know that their contributions are being professionally managed,” said Tubbs.
She said the partnership also opens the door to potential grant funding, matching gifts from employers and even estate gifts that could be dedicated toward the local music program.
But MMF officials point out that the only donations eligible for charitable treatment must be sent directly to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 120 Washington Street, Suite 400, Watertown, New York 13601; just include MMF or Massena Music Friends on the memo line. Potential donors can also call the foundation at 782-7110 if they have questions.
Northern New York Community Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson agrees the partnership is a win-win.
“We are honored to have been asked to partner with Massena Music Friends to maximize their ability to fulfill their mission, and ours. Any time we can work collaboratively to help leverage resources for a particular initiative or region we welcome it. MMF clearly recognizes that we can accomplish more together, than separately,” said Richardson.
Massena Music Friends is already considering a specific music department request for the purchase of a new electronic keyboard for an elementary music classroom, replacing a 25-year-old instrument. The hope is that with support from the community, from donations to their NNY Community Foundation fund, as well as numerous planned fundraising activities, MMF will play a significant role in helping fund outside-of-budget equipment purchases and other departmental needs in the future.
Massena Music Friends formed in 2010 advocating a continued strong music program in Massena schools.
The organization meets every second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Massena High School band room.
Anyone interested in supporting the district music program is welcome to join.