A-W students to benefit from trust land sale

Posted December 20, 2019 at 8:57 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

The Akron-Westfield Educational Excellence Foundation (AWEEF) was recently notified they are one of Plymouth County’s seven school districts to receive estate land sale proceeds.

In the Clifford E. Perry and Marjorie Perry Trusts, the two siblings’ farmland was to be sold, and a percentage of the sale proceeds are to be disbursed equally between the school districts if they met the criteria of having an established foundation or charitable organization, according to Bruce Michalsky, who is AWEEF’s president.

The Clifford Perry land was two parcels. The 40.91 acres sold for $9,300 an acre and the second tract of 120 acres sold for $10,300 per acre, said Michalsky, noting the school districts will split equally 40 percent of the sale proceeds after expenses are paid.

The total land sale netted more than $5.1 million, including two parcels of Marjorie Perry’s land. Although the Foundation hasn’t received notice about the Marjorie Perry sale yet, Michalsky believes the school districts will split 75 percent of that sale proceeds generated from her 310.9 acres.

“It’s a nice situation for Akron-Westfield students,” said Michalsky.

The Perrys’ Revocable Trust Agreements, dated May 14, 2008, state the monies must be invested at local institutions within the school district, and only the interest earned could be used for student scholarships.

Until the farmland was sold, the school districts also received a percentage of the farmland rental income for scholarships annually.

The scholarships are to be awarded to graduating high school seniors who will attend technical or trade schools, and the scholarships shall not exceed two years per student.

Scholarship criteria included students’:

• Financial need;

• Potential, hidden potential;

• Any unique circumstances and/or hardships;

• Perceived willingness and eagerness to obtain a two-year education to enable him/her to become productive citizens; and

• Academics and participation in school, community, family activities.

Students cannot receive more than 50 percent of their college expenses through the scholarship.

In his trust agreement, Clifford Perry encouraged school districts’ foundation committees to “think outside the box” when awarding the scholarships.

Clifford died in 2008, and A-W seniors have been receiving his scholarships since. Marjorie Perry passed away in 2016.

This past May was the first time Akron-Westfield students received a Marjorie Perry Scholarship.

Michalsky said the Cliff Perry notice the AWEEF received indicates the Foundation Committee will know by March 2020 the actual amount they will receive.

Receiving the Perry Trust scholarship funds was a complete surprise to the AWEEF when they were first notified.

“The students will be the beneficiaries of this,” said Michalsky. “For those who receive them, it’s going to be very helpful financially in their educational process.”

More money will be available for scholarships, and the scholarship award depends on how many applicants the AWEEF receives, he said. “Scholarships are wonderful for students in the sense it will help defray some of their educational costs. They won’t have to borrow as much.”

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