Shining a light on the Keystone Central Foundation

PHOTO PROVIDED Local community board members of the Keystone Central Foundation.

For 34 years the Keystone Central Foundation (KCF) has been operating as a small but vital organization supporting the Keystone Central School District (KCSD).

Created in 1988 as a 501(c)3, the charitable organization raises money to benefit KCSD students in their unmet needs while promoting education, extracurricular activities and fundraising to enhance the education and welfare of students.

The foundation has awarded well over $50,000 in scholarships to Central Mountain High School and Bucktail seniors.

Jeff Johnston, KCF board member, says, “I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the foundation and am proud of the many ways the organization has been able to provide the extras that the district needs to make the educational experience of students just that much more meaningful.”

The board is comprised of volunteers from the community and includes some retired education professionals, helping KCF’s long-term success.

The foundation hired its first part-time employee, Melissa Bottorf, who serves as the executive director. She is a 1998 graduate of the former Lock Haven High School who served as class treasurer during high school and went on to help plan several reunions after graduation.

“The foundation has funded some amazing projects throughout the district in the last 30-plus years,” Bottorf says. “Because we have local businesses who participate in the Pennsylvania tax incentive program called the Educational Improvement Tax Credit, we just funded over $50,000 to upgrade our libraries into Makerspaces. Now we can provide today’s learners with a more collaborative space focused on exploring science, engineering and math.”

Fast forward to the year 2020, when the foundation sparked a new idea to create the Keystone Central Alumni and Friends Association. Its focus is on creating a sense of community, honoring traditions and supporting current students.

Another focus is to preserve the memories of former schools in the district before the consolidation of Lock Haven, Sugar Valley and Bald Eagle Nittany high schools into Central Mountain.

After being sidelined by the pandemic, the first Heritage Homecoming events were held this past fall at the Central Mountain and Bucktail football games with alumni football players, cheerleaders and twirlers participating.

The association also manages an alumni store that includes apparel, wine glasses, ornaments, old and new school logos along with a cookbook of recipes from alumni, as well as photos from each of the high schools.

This past February, the Alumni Association held its first banquet to recognize distinguished alumni of the district. Those recognized were John Lipez and his late father, Harris; Rich Wycoff; Wayne Allison; Yvonne Weaver, Steven Toboz Jr., Malcolm Heimer and Howard Peters.



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