This past fall, I had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Arthur Berkey and his son Neil to Oswegatchie. This was the first visit for Art to see the completed building. A full tour was preceded by a lunch in the building. We then headed out for a tour of the grounds.
While visiting I was reminded just how in tune Dr. Berkey is to what is happening. Still active as a member of Farm Bureau, he keeps up with the policies and decisions being considered that will have effects on agriculture and agricultural education specifically. Conversation swayed from politics of the day to the weather, to how our personal children are doing and calling them by name. It was abundantly clear that at nearly 80 years old, there are not many who are as sharp as Art.
In my role as the executive director of the NYS FFA Foundation, I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by benevolence for most of my career. I have witnessed it in the form of actions, from thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to making the FFA and Oswegatchie better. It is the giving of time, talent, knowledge, and resources, not to better ones own interest, but to make improvements for others. Webters defines benevolence as "the quality of being well meaning; kindness". I think this sums up Art Berkey in a perfect way.
The past 10 months have not been an ideal time to ask people to give. Yet, 2020 has been one of our most successful fund raising years in my career. As we prepare to bid 2020 farewell, I am happy to share that our fund raising efforts on the capital campaign are now down to $61,000. This number reflects two additional gifts from Dr. Arthur Berkey. The first is a matching opportunity, in which he will match up to $25,000 in donations to the FFA Foundation made in the month of December 2020. The second is a final commitment of $50,000 toward the new building to be given in 2021 and 2022.
My plea to those who are reading this today.......please consider your year end gift. Donate to the general fund to support FFA, donate to the capital campaign, or give because you can. Whatever is raised in this month, the first $25,000 will be matched by Dr. Berkey.
Funding Goals for this year end push include:
$61,000 to finish the Capital Campaign
$40,000 to support the NYS FFA Association- includes state activities, jacket program, SAE scholarships and more.
Choose your path to give below, and join me along with more than 500 donors in leveraging the benevolence of a great man through you own benevolent action. Best wishes for a prosperous new year, and the promise of better days on the horizon.
The New York FFA Foundation
The NYSFFALTF, Inc., chartered in 1946 by the New York State Board of Regents, is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides businesses, associations, other foundations, and individuals the opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of our New York youth. Our mission is to build and maintain a financial base that will allow the New York FFA to generate well-educated and career focused productive citizens. Email our Director at firstname.lastname@example.org .