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Please help us restore PGSS!

posted Aug 16, 2011, 1:00 PM by Jeremy Hurwitz   [ updated Aug 16, 2011, 3:09 PM ]

Dear fellow PGSS alumni,

PGSS 2003 Superconductor Project
We are close to reinstating PGSS for summer 2012 but to make it happen we need to meet our fundraising goals BY SEPTEMBER 30TH. This school had a huge positive impact on our lives, and we are determined to restore this wonderful opportunity for future students.

I would like to see us raise enough money to run the school next year with private contributions. The minimum amount we need to do so is $250,000. While that may seem large at first glance, that value is well within our grasp.

We're Almost Half-Way There!

Let me review what we've accomplished so far.

At the time of our last fundraising drive in April, we had located 1600 of the 2400 alumni of the program, starting from scratch. Of those, 330 alumni have made financial contributions totaling $100,000! Since then, we have located over 300 more alumni.

We have a number of active volunteers working on various projects. Some are presenting fundraising proposals to the government, nonprofit foundations, and corporations. Others continue to find more alumni who still don't realize that PGSS ceased to be funded by the state in 2009.

We held a successful reunion in Pittsburgh in July, and we are planning additional alumni events in Boston and San Francisco. We hope to see at some of these events!

And We Need Your Help!

The average cost per student at PGSS is approximately $4000. Several alumni have each donated enough to pay for a single student to go to PGSS. Please consider joining the dozens of alumni who have given leadership donations of $1000 or more.

If a four-digit contribution is far beyond your means, please know that a contribution of any size really matters to our cause. When we approach other potential sources of funding, they strongly prefer to see high participation rates in alumni fundraising, because this is a strong signal of the positive impact of the program. Please don't hesitate if all you can send us is $10.

My goal is for us to achieve 50% participation among the alumni we have located, for a total of at least 900 alumni contributions by September 15. This is a remarkably high participation goal, but this is not an ordinary group. I think we can do it.

Furthermore, I would like us to achieve an average gift size of $400 on those 570 new gifts, which will give us more than enough money to make sure that the program will happen in 2012. Any additional funds we raise will go towards improving the program and putting it on a firmer financial footing for the future.

Right now, before you forget, please take a moment to reflect on this important program and how you might contribute to getting it going again. Can you give up one or two lattes per week and send the money to PGSS? Can you brown-bag your lunch for a month and send your savings to the cause?

You can make your donation via credit card on our website:
Alternatively, you can save us more than 2% in processing fees if you send us a check. You can mail your contribution to:
     PGSS Alumni Association
     161 West Hills Drive
     Williamsport, PA 17701

Thank you for your support in our efforts. Together, we can bring back PGSS!


David Reiley
President, PGSS Alumni Association
PGSS Class of 1986; TA 1989, 1991

P.S. Please remember that many employers match employee’s charitable contributions, thus doubling the impact if your contribution. Our EIN, used to verify our tax-exempt status, is: 27-3095103.

A Note To The PGSS Parents

Dear Fellow Parents of PGSS "Govvie" Alums,

Do you remember--can you ever forget--your child's excitement, enthusiasm, sheer joy in the PGSS experience?

Was it a life changing turning point, a mind boggling revelation of what the future could be? Remember the new-found friends who were truly your child's peers, who shared the same interests and intellectual curiosity and challenged him to work harder than ever before? Was it not the highlight of the college application essay? Maybe those memories are still fresh in your mind, but if it's been a few years, please take a moment to consider how important those weeks on the CMU campus were for your child.

I urge you to go to the website and read the testimonials of of the alumni. No one can say it better than they. Then, please consider a donation to help fund a proposed PGSS on the CMU campus during the summer of 2012. Proposals are being submitted, concessions in salaries have been made, many generous contributions have already been amassed, and the deadline is fast approaching when the possibility of a reinstating a 2012 program can become a reality. All donations are welcome.

You can donate online via the website, or, if you prefer, send a check to the PGSS Alumni Association, 161 West Hills Drive, Williamsport, PA 17701. I hope you will join me and other parents as well as the alums, who want to give Pennsylvania's current brightest, most promising, and sometime most isolated, high school students this life changing opportunity.


Mary Ellen Kirby
Parent of PGSS Class of 1990