Central Pennsylvania Families Receive Scholarship Assistance through the EITC Program

State College, PA – (November 7, 2013) – Bridge Educational Foundation and its donors, AWI, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and Waste Management, announced $19,275 in scholarships for Central Pennsylvania families today at Our Lady of Victory School.  School officials and families attended the event to thank the scholarship donors.  Students attending Our Lady of Victory School, Centre County Christian Academy, Nittany Christian and Grace Prep HS received the scholarships. Local state officials Senator Jake Corman and Representative Kerry Benninghoff also attended the presentation to show their support for the State’s EITC Program.

Joe Gerdes of the Bridge Educational Foundation offered, “Our donors participate in the EITC Program because it allows their companies to give back to the communities where they work and live and simultaneously helps to provide educational opportunities to their future workforce.”

During a brief presentation the donor business representatives, school and elected officials offered remarks applauding the EITC Program.

Lindsay Wiefling of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of PA, offered, “We at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan are strong believers in the education of our young people.  Well-educated children tend to grow into happier, healthier adults.  So, as we strive to provide quality healthcare services in the Commonwealth, we feel privileged to complement this mission by contributing to the education of our youngsters.  I am grateful to the local legislators that are present today, as well as the Bridge Foundation, for supporting this program and making this opportunity possible.”

“Waste Management has a long history of donating to education.  These investments to schools and educational programs help ensure the future of our communities by providing students with the opportunity to reach their full potential.  As members of the community, we believe it is our job to live up to the highest standards of corporate and individual responsibility.  The Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program in Pennsylvania is a win-win, benefiting both the company and the community,” stated Judy Archibald of Waste Management.

“Associated Wholesalers, Inc. and Burkholder’s Market, Hall’s Market and Confer’s Country Market are proud to partner with education throughout Pennsylvania.  Teaming with educational institutes to support our children is an investment in our futures, and Associated Wholesalers, Inc. and our member retailers believe in finding opportunities to support community advancement,” remarked Jennifer Fetterhoff of AWI.

“The Bridge Educational Foundation and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program have been a huge asset to Pennsylvania students and their families.  It provides businesses with an opportunity to get involved in their community while helping to give children and parents more education options,” said Senator Jake Corman.  “This program rewards businesses that make education a priority and are willing to invest in their local schools – and their students. It is a good investment in our children, our commonwealth and our future and I thank all those here for their generosity in donating this scholarship money.”

“This tax credit program is opening doors to opportunities that students and families in our communities might not otherwise be able to access,” said State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin).  “Through this process, the Bridge Educational Foundation and its donors continue to participate as active partners in the education of our children.  Their investments will produce the next generation of entrepreneurs, civic leaders and other engaged citizens.”

“The EITC is providing families in Central PA with a choice.  The Program has paired community minded businesses with families for more than a decade.  We hope that the EITC will continue to grow and help additional families in the next decade” concluded Joe Gerdes.

The scholarship donations announced today are part of the Pennsylvania K-12 EITC Program.  The K-12 EITC tuition program provides companies with a 75 percent tax credit – 90 percent for a two-year commitment – for funds donated to approved, non-profit scholarship or educational improvement organizations businesses may donate up to $400,000 per year though the K-12 program.

For information on how to request scholarship funding please visit www.bridgeedu.org and click on the scholarship tab.

Bridge Educational Foundation is a scholarship organization recognized as an approved 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and was established under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Foundation’s core mission is to partner families and schools with Pennsylvania businesses to provide scholarship opportunities throughout Pennsylvania.  Based in Harrisburg, PA, Bridge Educational Foundation is currently one of the largest and most innovative scholarship organizations of its kind, raising $17 million to provide educational opportunities for more than 10,000 low income families statewide.  www.bridgeedu.org

Associated Wholesalers, Inc. (AWI) is a cooperative with 2,300 employees serving over 2,500 retail stores.  AWI is owned and operated by over 500 independent retailers, who operate supermarkets and convenience stores within the Mid-Atlantic area.  AWI’s mission is to offer superior consumer services by providing retail and distribution programs that meet the goals of its retail owners.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 33,000 physicians and care professionals and 200 hospitals in Pennsylvania. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 800,000 people across the state of Pennsylvania and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

About Waste Management

Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also one of the largest residential recyclers and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.

To learn more visit www.thinkgreen.com or www.wm.com.


Kelly Gerdes
Cell Phone:  717-433-3681
Work Phone:  717-214-6792
Email:  kelly.gerdes@bridgeedu.org