RYE (NY) September 22, 2014―Mary Payton Emery tonight announced the creation of the Rye Fund for Education, Inc. at a press conference held at the Rye High School and Middle School Media Center. Emery is the President and a Trustee of the newly-launched Fund. The mission of the Fund is to raise tax-free donations for the Rye City School District to be used for larger and/or extraordinary initiatives important to the entire community. Though just in its infancy, the Fund launches with donations and pledges totaling over $350,000.
The idea for the Fund came about in 2012 in response to the 2% tax cap, the multi-year tax freeze budget property tax rebate, unfunded government mandates and other economic conditions that when combined with Rye’s ever-increasing enrollment figures, presented fiscal challenges threatening to Rye’s continuing public school excellence. The Fund founders envision an organization that will raise funds and make grants across the school district as a whole and for larger scale items. The Fund filed for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, which was granted on June 3, 2014, retroactive to March 1, 2013, the date of the Fund’s incorporation.
The Rye Fund for Education will provide support for the “extras” needed to ensure that cutting-edge resources are available to teachers and students. The Fund intends to focus on three main areas, which it is calling “Triple AAA.” They are Academics, Arts and Athletics.
The Fund seeks to galvanize community support for Rye’s public schools and to maintain Rye’s property values. It welcomes the support of all parents with children in the district as well as preschool parents, alumni, corporations and all Rye residents interested in promoting public education. As is the case with other school foundations, donors may contribute to a general fund to be applied to district needs through a cooperative effort between the Fund and the district and there will be opportunities for more targeted giving.
Current members of the Board of the Rye Fund for Education are Mary Payton Emery, Kim Abate, Richard Slack, and Rye Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez, who is a non-voting member. In addition, Lora Katsikas serves as Treasurer of the Fund and Laura Slack is the Rye School Board of Education Liaison to the Fund.
The Fund’s inaugural fundraiser committee is called “Got a Brick?” and is chaired by Susan Ciardiello. Donors are invited to dedicate a brick paver, planter or bench in the new Garnets’ Courtyard, adjacent to the new High School Science Wing. Dedications can be made in several ways, including teacher recognitions, family or individual names, or alumni or corporate dedications. Donations from the “Got a Brick” fundraiser will go into the general fund of the Foundation.
Mary Payton Emery said, “We are very excited about the number and extent of the donor commitments we have received at this very early stage. We feel strongly that Rye should have its own community-led education foundation to help ensure continued educational excellence in our public schools. We recognize that the Rye community is brimming with exceptional talent and expertise and we plan to draw upon that as we expand our leadership.”
Frank Alvarez, Superintendent of Schools, said, “The current fiscal environment is making it hard for the Rye City School District to do the things that great districts do. Many of our peer districts in Westchester, including Scarsdale, Bronxville, Chappaqua and Edgemont, already have foundations. I believe this is the right time and the right team to do great things for all of our public schools.”
About the Rye Fund for Education
The Rye Fund for Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation operating as a non-partisan public charity in Rye, New York. The Fund operates in cooperation with, but independently from, the Rye City School District. Its purpose is to support Rye’s public schools and to promote educational excellence in our community. The Fund seeks to raise money through donations from community members, alumni, corporations and others to fund grants to help maintain the excellence of Rye City Schools. For more information, visit www.ryefundforeducation.com
In the Press
Paul Murphy and Jimmy Roberts Join Rye Fund for Education as Trustees
RYE, NY (MAY 2015) ―The Rye Fund for Education announced today that Paul Murphy and Jimmy Roberts have joined as Trustees of the Fund. Murphy and Roberts join the four other trustees of the Fund, Dr. Frank Alvarez (non-voting trustee), Mary Payton Emery, Kim Abate and Richard Slack.
Mary Payton Emery, President of the Rye Fund for Education, said, “We are looking forward to working with Paul and Jimmy to make the Rye City School District the best it can possibly be.”
The Rye Fund for education was launched in September 2014. It is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational foundation established to raise and distribute tax-free funds for the use by the Rye City School District. Since its inception, the Fund has raised over $700,000 in monies and pledges from the Fund’s generous Founding Donors and through its popular “Got a Brick?” fundraiser, accessible on the Fund’s website:
A 28 year Wall Street veteran, Paul Murphy worked for Paine Webber Inc, Deutsche Bank, CanaccordGenuity and Morgan Stanley in equity sales. He now works as a residential real estate agent for Houlihan Lawrence Inc.’s Rye office.
A longtime active member of the Rye community, Murphy served for many years as coach for Resurrection’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball and Rye Little League. He runs the annual golf outing for his Indian Village neighborhood. He is a member of the Board of Governors at the Apawamis Club and currently serves as Head of the Membership Committee.
Paul Murphy graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Business Administration. He also holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Paul lives in Rye with his wife, Lisa. They have three sons.
Jimmy Roberts is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and writer known most recently for his work on NBC and Golf Channel as an essayist, interviewer, feature reporter and studio host. Roberts is a fixture on NBC and Golf Channel’s coverage of the PGA Tour and other high-profile golf events, including the Ryder Cup. He is also a feature reporter at the Olympic Games for NBC and often serves as a weekend Sports Desk host for NBC Sports.
Roberts joined NBC Sports in May 2000 after a long career at ABC and ESPN, including stints as a SportsCenter correspondent covering the World Series, NBA Finals, heavyweight championship bouts, Super Bowl and the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics. In 1987 and 1988, Roberts served as a writer and producer of features at ABC Sports. Prior to that, he was an assignment editor and producer for ABC News (1985-87), where he coordinated and supervised coverage of sports for the division, and produced stories for ABC News. In 1984, he worked for Howard Cosell on ABC’s SportsBeat, writing and producing features for the Emmy Award-winning show.
Roberts earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in 1979.
Jimmy lives in Rye with his wife, Sandra, and their three sons.
About the Rye Fund for Education
The Rye Fund for Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation operating as a non-partisan public charity in Rye, New York. The Fund’s Certificate of Incorporation was filed on March 1, 2013 and the Fund’s Employer Identification Number is 46-2481911. The Fund received confirmation of its tax-exempt status by letter dated June 3, 2014, retroactively providing such tax-exempt status effective March 1, 2013, the date of the Fund’s incorporation.
The Fund is independent from the Rye City School District, but its sole purpose is to support Rye’s public schools and educational excellence in our community. The Fund seeks to raise money through donations from community members, alumni, corporations and others to fund grants to help maintain the excellence of Rye City Schools.