PCI makes multi-million dollar donation
Just over a year after donating more than $1 million to Atmore area schools in December of 2010 the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are once again contributing to Alabama’s educational system with a $2 million donation made Wednesday to schools in Elmore and Montgomery Counties.
The donation, to be divided equally between the two school systems, was presented to Elmore County School Superintendent Dr. Jeffery E. Langham and Montgomery County School Superintendent Barbara W. Thompson by members of the PCI Tribal Council Wednesday afternoon and the two superintendents will have full discretion of how the funds are used according to a PR Newswire release.
Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin said donating to schools is an important part of giving back to the communities PCI is involved in.
“Certainly, we can’t fix the whole problem,” Rolin said. “But if we can at least lessen the effects that the economic downturn has on some of our young people’s education, we feel blessed to be able to help.”
With Alabama’s public school systems dealing with the fallout of three consecutive years of budget cuts, and more projected to come, state lawmakers and educators alike have been left scrambling to find a solution to the budget shortfalls. Langham said the money donated from the tribe’s 2012 discretionary budget will go a long way to help fill the fiscal gap in Elmore County schools.
“These funds are an unexpected and very welcome gift to all of us connected with the Elmore County schools,” Langham said. “We are extremely grateful to the tribe for recognizing a need and trying to help.”
Thompson echoed Langham’s appreciation, noting the money will be put to good use in Montgomery County’s school system.
“This financial climate has made it difficult to provide the resources that our students and teachers need,” Thompson said. “It’s wonderful to have committed partners like the Poarch Creek Indians who care about public education and want to invest in our children. Their support will help us meet those needs.”
PCI Treasurer and head of PCI Government Affairs Robert McGhee, one of several Tribal Council members to travel to Montgomery to personally present the donations, said the tribe is more than happy to do whatever they can to help schools and organizations in Alabama.
“Clearly our leaders, like families across Alabama, are having to make hard decisions and make do with less,” McGhee said. “So many of our employees live in Elmore and Montgomery Counties and we know how important good schools are to them and their quality of life. We are always willing to try to help our neighbors and work with legislators to solve Alabama’s problems.”