Parkston Area Foundation Fundraiser

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The Parkston Area Foundation (PAF) was established in 2004 and has seen great success since its inception.

Since 2007, the PAF has been giving annual grants and scholarships to worthy applicants in the Parkston area that currently total around $175,000.

“The Parkston Scholarship Fund is very new to the Parkston Area Foundation,” says PAF Board Member Audrey Bowar. “It was created within the PAF in 2017 with the purpose to provide a scholarship to EVERY graduating senior in Parkston. It is our intention to let the youth in Parkston know that we believe in them, we are willing to help them reach their goals, and we would like to see them return to our community in the future.”

Mrs. Bowar joined the PAF in 2006, two years after its inception. “I am not aware of all the board did in its initial solicitations, but I do know that our members at the time were committed to explaining the PAF’s mission and seeking out pledges from our community.”

Since inception, the community savings account board has worked hard to get the word out about the lasting impact PAF will make in the local area, through both social media and face-to-face interaction.

“Now, social media would be an excellent way to communicate these things,” said Bowar. “With that being said, there is no better way to make a connection than having a face-to-face conversation with a potential donor. Putting in the time to do so could have a lasting impact for the CSA.

Parkston Area Foundation Recognition Park

In 2008, with hearts full of gratitude, the PAF constructed a Recognition Park to honor their generous donors.

“It took a couple years to complete, as nearly all of the construction was done by volunteer work,” says PAF board member, Audrey Bowar. “We continue to update and make changes to the park. This summer we are installing shade umbrellas and will be engraving more donor names.”

The Recognition Park has a minimum donation amount of $250 to receive a Pathway engraving. Donor levels include:

·         $250-$999: Pathway engraving (located along the pathways in the park)

·         $1,000-$2,499: Builders wall bricks (smaller bricks on back wall)

·         $2,500-$4,999: Major builder bricks (large bricks on back wall)

Gifts above $5,000 receive engravings on the Major Donor Wall in the park. These levels include:

·         $5,000-$9,999: Benefactor

·         $10,000-$24,999: Advocate

·         $25,000-$49,999: Ambassador

·         $50,000-$99,999: Leadership

·         $100,000 and up: Visionary

“The PAF Board wanted a way to recognize its donors as well as honor any donations given in memory or in honor of someone,” said Bowar. “The park serves as a visual of our gratitude for those that have invested in the future of our community. It is also a way for us to pay tribute to our community heritage.”

Parkston Area Foundation Telethon

Our board worked hand in hand with the high school counselor and the Parkston Media Club to set up and carry out the telethon. The Parkston Media Club was responsible for the set-up of phone lines, cameras, and set. The Club also had made videos from each senior telling his or her future as well as commercials to air during the telethon.

PAF advertised for the telethon on social media and in our local newspaper. The telethon was held from 6-9 p.m. on a Thursday evening. Viewers were able to watch the telethon either online or on the local Santel channel. Donors called in using a temporary phone number that Santel provided for the telethon. Local seniors recorded the callers’ names, addresses, and pledge amount.

The community has overall been very supportive of the Parkston Scholarship Fund. Bowar’s late father-in-law, Pat Bowar, spearheaded the idea of the scholarship fund. For about six months, he sought out donations from local businesses and community members before he passed away last winter, prior to the telethon.

“He had a great response when speaking to people about the PAF Board’s vision,” said Bowar. “Pat built a wonderful foundation for our board to stand on and continue to build upon. The Board’s pledge to each donor is to make every effort to remain in contact with recipients and to continue to support them in fulfilling their dreams. Our efforts will also be designed to encourage these students to consider returning to the Parkston community.”

“We are very fortunate to have an exceptional media club at the high school,” said Bowar. “I am not sure the telethon would have been as successful if it weren’t for their involvement. I would encourage other CSAs to utilize students’ knowledge of social media to advertise and broadcast their telethon.”

Advice to other community savings accounts

Bowar has advice to other new community savings account boards as well.  

“Having patience is critical since it can take a while to build a large fund. The Parkston community is reaping rewards from the seeds that were first planted in 2004. We cannot thank our donors enough for their willingness to leave a legacy in our community.”

To donate or learn more about the PAF, please visit their website at http://parkstonareafoundation.com/