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Diocesan Foundation Grant Spurs BISON Fund Expansion | Schools

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Diocesan Foundation Grant Spurs BISON Fund Expansion
Diocesan Foundation Grant Spurs BISON Fund Expansion

The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has agreed to enter into a three-year partnership with the BISON Scholarship Fund, a privately-funded program that provides tuition assistance to eligible low-income children.

Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year, the foundation will provide a $600,000 grant to the fund. This grant will replace the Catholic Elementary Tuition Assistance Program (CTAP) funding for the term of the agreement. CTAP provides needs-based tuition assistance for Catholic and non-Catholic students registered at any Catholic elementary school in the diocese.

This new partnership will allow for the expansion of the BISON Fund to all Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo. Prior to the announcement, the BISON FUND assisted children living in the city of Buffalo, Lackawanna, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Kenmore, Amherst and the Town of Tonawanda.

“The collaboration between the BISON Fund and the foundation gives both organizations an opportunity to raise additional dollars to assist Catholic school students by creating a collaborative fundraising outreach to people and businesses in all eight counties of Western New York as well as organizations outside the region,” said Gerard T. Mazurkiewicz, vice-chair of the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. “This is an excellent example on how, by working together, organizations can have a positive impact on our Western New York community.”

Kathleen Christy, executive director of the BISON Fund, said, “Through all of this change and growth, we remain true to our mission and core values, to provide tuition assistance to low-income families and their children. We are providing real choice to families, and empowering them to make choices for their children they otherwise would not be able to make. In our society today, the true minority are those that are economically disadvantaged. We are making great strides, and now have a funding partner that will give us the chance to make those strides in areas we have not yet served”

The BISON Fund currently serves 1,350 students, with awards of up to $1,400 per student. CTAP serves 1,571 students in Catholic elementary schools, with an average per student award of $374. Close to $600,000 was allocated to students this year through CTAP.

David Sampson, interim executive director of the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, said, “We are extremely pleased to further develop our partnership with the BISON Fund. We are confident that this new agreement will allow even more families and their children in the diocese to access a high-quality Catholic elementary education.”

Applications for the BISON Fund are available at all Catholic elementary schools, or at www.bisonfund.com.


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