Carolina to help fund tragedy victims

CHAPEL HILL, NC--Football fans attending Saturday*s match-up between the University of North Carolina and Florida State University can make donations to a new scholarship fund that will benefit families directly affected by the nation's Sept. 11 tragedy.

The "Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund" was created to provide assistance for postsecondary education to financially needy children and spouses of those killed or permanently disabled in last week's terrorist attacks. Receiving aid will be children and spouses of the victims, including airplane crew and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon employees and visitors, and relief workers, including firemen and policemen.

The fund was begun by Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America (CSFA) in Minneapolis and the Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis. It offers a charitable option for individuals and organizations that want to aid these families.

"So many lives have been torn apart by this tragedy," said UNC Chancellor James Moeser. "We at Carolina are especially concerned about the futures of the children who have lost their parents. We put great faith in higher education and its ability to lift a society, so our students and employees decided to raise funds for scholarships to help provide access to college for members of the victims' families."

Added Carolina Athletics Director Dick Baddour, "This senseless tragedy has directly or indirectly touched every American. Ryan Kohart, our lacrosse captain in 1998, unfortunately was one of the victims in New York. His loss is felt deeply here at Carolina. I hope our fans and Florida State supporters will join together in an effort to make a positive impact on the lives of their fellow citizens and show the world we are truly united."

Fans attending the noon game in Kenan Stadium will see signs and volunteers from the ranks of Carolina students, faculty and staff who will be posted at stadium gate entrances. Fans can give cash or checks made out to "UNC-FFSA" at those sites before the game. Donations will be taken at gates two and six until half-time when collections will end.

Volunteers taking collections will be wearing T-shirts noting their connection with a campuswide task force created this week at UNC that is helping guide the university's ongoing response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Lumina Foundation for Education, an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access to postsecondary education, has pledged $3 million to create the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. Some $2 million of that total has been pledged outright, and $1 million will come through a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to encourage contributions from individuals.

CSFA, the nation's largest private-sector scholarship and education support organization, will take applications and donations as well as manage the fund. Its mission includes expanding access to educational opportunities and encouraging academic achievement through its Dollars for Scholars, Scholarship Management Services and ScholarShop programs.

In announcing the fund effort last week, CSFA officials stressed that 100 percent of all contributions will support undergraduate education at an accredited, U.S.-based college, university, or vocational/technical school, for the victims' family members, throughout the life of the program.

For those not attending the game, but interested in making a donation can do by clicking to www.familiesoffreedom.org or calling 1-877-862-0136. Or checks can be made payable to the Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America designating the "Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund," and mailed to Citizens* Scholarship Foundation of America, 1505 Riverview Road, P.O. Box 297, St. Peter, MN 56082.


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