Local babies to receive $500

15 years ago

The Harold Alfond College Challenge is the nation’s first statewide philanthropic grant program, launched right here in Maine. Continuing the late Harold Alfond’s lifelong commitment to education, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, together with Houlton Regional Hospital, announces that through the Harold Alfond College Challenge, all Maine resident babies born at the hospital will be eligible to receive a $500 grant to start a NextGen College Investing Plan account.
    On January 1, 2009, through the assistance of the Maine Hospital Association, the Harold Alfond College Challenge has been extended statewide to all infants born in Maine, or who become Maine residents, before their first birthday, including those born at Houlton Regional Hospital. The Alfond Grants are administered by FAME, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).
“We are delighted to participate in extending the Harold Alfond College Challenge to the babies born at our hospital,”said Tom Moakler, CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital. “Our designated staff will be diligent in providing information, education and assistance to new parents.”
“Mr. Alfond created the Harold Alfond College Challenge with the hope that families, communities and businesses would rise to the challenge of investing in the future educational aspirations of Maine’s children”, said Gregory Powell, chairman of the board of trustees of the Harold Alfond Foundation and president and chief executive officer of Dexter Enterprises, which administers the Harold Alfond Foundation. “In doing so, we give the babies in Maine a great start to reach their dreams,” he continued.
The Harold Alfond College Challenge provides each Maine baby a $500 grant to start a NextGen account for education beyond high school. Working in partnership with FAME, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation will award a $500 grant to every NextGen account opened for newborn Maine residents. The NextGen account needs to be opened before the child’s first birthday.
The $500 grant will be used as the initial contribution to open the NextGen account. There are no income limits on receiving the grant and while there is no requirement to add to the account, it was Mr. Alfond’s hope that families and businesses and possibly even communities would continue contributing to children’s NextGen accounts.
Before you invest in the NextGen plan, please carefully read the NextGen Enrollment Kit. The program description contains more complete information, including investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in the NextGen plan, which you should consider carefully. You should also consider whether your home state or your designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investment in such state’s 529 plan. NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by the Finance Authority of Maine. Merrill Lynch is the Program Manager and underwriter.
Houlton Regional Hospital estimates 180 to 200 babies to be born at HRH each year. We want to encourage the families of each and every one of them to take advantage of the Harold Alfond College Challenge. Designated staff are in the process of being trained and are committed to inform, educate and assist new parents with the application process.
For more information on the Harold Alfond College Challenge go to www.500forbaby.org or call 1-800-228-3734. Locally you may contact Janene Moran of Houlton Regional Hospital at 521-2560.