H-PT Schools Foundation seeks growth

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette From left, Ryan Greenley and Rob Fay of the Houghton-Portage Township Schools Foundation discussed the foundation’s status during the Houghton-Portage Township Public Schools Board meeting Monday.

HOUGHTON — After a long period of dormancy, the Houghton-Portage Township Schools Foundation is becoming more active, and looking to get word out about its offerings.

President Rob Fay and Vice President Ryan Greenley spoke about the foundation to the Houghton-Portage Township Schools Board Monday night.

About three years ago, a large donation from the estate of William J. Hodge for schoalrships supported the restoration of the foundation.

Over the past two years, the foundation — made up of a board including alumni, community members, school board and former staff members — has given out eight scholarships per year for an annual total of about $28,000.

“Going into this year, we as a board decided, ‘That’s nice, but what else can we do?'” Fay said.

What else wound up being grants available to teachers and staff. The number of grants and the total dollar amount has not been determined, Fay said.

Applications are due by March 1.

Outside giving will be one of the biggest factors, Fay said. Although the foundation has funds available, much of it has already been earmarked for scholarships.

To build awareness of the foundation, it recently launched a website, hptsfoundation.org.

The site includes a donation link and list of donor levels and scholarships and the grant application.

There’s not much content on the site yet, Greenley said. In part that’s a function of it being new.

The foundation also has a goal of making the site simple to use.

Board member Amanda Massaway asked if the foundation would post success stories on the site. That is part of the criteria for the grant, Fay said.

“In the event that they’re awarded (the grant), we are expecting a one-page summary of how this was beneficial,” he said.