Poarch gives back to local schools

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Escambia County High School Principal Zickeyous Byrd was all smiles Wednesday morning after receiving more than $600,000 from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.|Photo by Adam Prestridge

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians presented Atmore area schools with early Christmas presents today by way of sizeable monetary donations to help offset education funding cutbacks by the state.

The Tribe donated more than $1.6 million to the five area public schools and two private schools Wednesday morning in the library of Escambia County High School. The funding, which was made available through the Tribe’s education endowment, is to be used for “needed” resources at each school ranging from educational materials and supplies to facility improvements.

Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin said the donations are simply an example of the Tribe being good stewards.

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“Part of being a good neighbor is helping out others in need,” he said. “Education is the bedrock of productive successful lives for these youngsters, we are happy and proud to be able to make this contribution to the future today.”

In total, the Tribe donated $1,626,407. Donations are as follows: Escambia County High School and Escambia County Middle School received a combined total of $687,360, the largest donation made by the Tribe. Huxford Elementary School was presented with $337,000; A.C. Moore Elementary School with $112,547 and Rachel Patterson Elementary School received $78,000. Escambia Academy was given $311,500 and Atmore Christian School received $100,000.

In addition to their donations to area schools, the Tribe also presented Atmore United Fund President Bernard Bishop with a check for $10,000, which represents 20 percent of the 2011 campaign budget of $50,000.

“Enhancing the way of life in our community has always been a priority for the Tribe,” Rolin said. “I am proud that we are able to enrich people’s lives through the United Fund of Atmore, and that this donation will help them accomplish that.”

The United Fund gives donations to numerous non-profit organizations in and around Atmore each year. This year, the board has elected to assist 19 non-profits.

For more on this story, including comments from each principal and details of how the funds will be utilized, see Saturday’s edition of The Atmore Advance.