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Say Yes Doubleheader

Say Yes to Education in Syracuse -- a City Eagleseries, Part IV

On Thursday night, the Say Yes Summer Camp counselors were guests of the Eagle Newspapers at the annual Eagle Newspaper Night at Alliance Bank Stadium. On Friday, they graduated from their two weeks of training to facilitate the six-week summer program at the Corcoran Quadrant's elementary schools.

Their graduation on Friday was actually the second part of a doubleheader -- not baseball, but education.

At a lunch time press conference at POMCO headquarters in Eastwood, several major funding announcements were made that further enhanced the Say Yes to Education program in the Syracuse City School District.

The big players were all there -- George Weiss, founder of Say Yes, Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, President of the education foundation, Dan Lowengard, SCSD Superintendent, and representatives of Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor. This part of the day's lineup was about to come through for Say Yes in a big way.

Schmitt-Carey up at bat

Schmitt-Carey announced a number of past and future monetary gifts to the program, including $2,600,000 from the city of Syracuse, $2,400,000 from Onondaga County, $2,000,000 from Wegmans (for the Hillside Center for Children), $1,350,000 from NYS (through the efforts of State Legislator Bill Magnarelli), $1,000,000 matching fund from the Central New York Community Foundation, $350,000 from the SU Board of Trustees, and more than half a million dollars in in-kind support from SU.

Schmitt-Carey (described by Weiss as a "pit bull that no one can say no to when it comes to Say Yes") thanked other groups that have also donated money, equipment and resources to help make Say Yes successful.

Welch Allyn, for example, has donated medical equipment to school-based health centers, and Harris Beach law firm has organized legal clinics to provide free legal services to families.

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