Monday, March 04, 2013
Maine “dream-maker” and philanthropist Harold Alfond would have celebrated his 99th birthday on March 6th. His legacy lives on in our state through the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, which to date has awarded over $9 million - or 18,000 $500 Harold Alfond College Challenge Grants - to Maine babies – so they can dream big, too.
The Alfond Grant is awarded to a NextGen College Investing Plan® account administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Opening a NextGen® account to receive the grant can even be done online in about 15 minutes. The grant is available to any Maine resident baby for whom a NextGen account has been opened by their first birthday.
Harold Alfond was well-known for challenging wider involvement to accomplish a certain goal, and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation works with many community and hospital groups to encourage more parents to open NextGen accounts and receive the $500 grant.
Central Maine Medical Center Pediatrics, for example, had tried many things to encourage patients to sign up for the Alfond Grant and most recently installed an on-line application kiosk for parents to sign up right in the waiting room. “We have been reminding parents about the $500 opportunity for the past four years, and they often say they will get to it when they have time. It’s such a great opportunity and we want to help families in as many good health and aspirational aspects as we can,” said Pam Cullet, Practice Manager.
There are no income limits and no contributions are required to receive the $500 grant. Funds in the NextGen account may be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses at any accredited post-secondary school, including four-year and two-year public and private colleges, certificate programs, trade schools, and even graduate schools.1
Families of Maine babies may apply for the grant by visiting http://www.500forbaby.org or calling FAME at 1-800-282-3734 and completing an application by their child’s first birthday.
About the Alfond Scholarship Foundation
The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established specifically to sponsor and support the Harold Alfond College Challenge. The foundation is a partnership of organizations and individuals who truly embrace Mr. Alfond’s philosophy, and includes representatives from the Maine Compact for Higher Education, FAME, the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, the Maine Community Foundation, the Mitchell Institute, and at-large members that include representatives from MaineGeneral Health and the Maine Hospital Association. To learn more about the Harold Alfond College Challenge, please visit www.500forbaby.org.
About the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME)
FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine people and businesses pursue educational and business opportunities. Established in 1983, FAME is committed to innovative, flexible financial solutions that address the needs of Maine individuals and companies in a changing economic landscape. FAME administers the Harold Alfond College Challenge and the NextGen College Investing Plan®. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com
1 To be eligible for the favorable tax treatment afforded to any earnings portion of withdrawals from Section 529 accounts, withdrawals must be “qualified higher education expenses,” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. Any earnings withdrawn that are not used for such expenses are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% additional federal tax, as well as applicable state and local income taxes.
Please remember there's always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.
The Alfond Grant is awarded to a NextGen account. NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Before you invest in NextGen, request a NextGen Program Description from your Maine bank or financial advisor, or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 and read it carefully. The Program Description contains more complete information, including investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in NextGen, which you should carefully consider before investing. You also should consider whether your or your designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s 529 plan. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC, is the program manager and underwriter.
Friday, December 21, 2012
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is currently displaying photography by Dennis Griggs of Topsham. Dennis owns Tannery Hill Photographic Laboratory in Topsham and his clients include the United States Postal Service, Bath Iron Works, Greater Portland Landmarks, the Maine Development Foundation, local banks and advertising agencies. Dennis received formal training in Photographic Science at Rochester Institute of Technology and also was a photographer at Brunswick Naval Air Station.
FAME Chief Executive Officer Beth Bordowitz stated: “FAME is pleased to host Dennis’s photography, which adds vibrancy to our office while helping to bring public attention to Maine artists and photographers who enrich our communities.”
In addition to serving as one of New England’s foremost commercial photographers, Dennis regularly attends “casting calls” on behalf of the Harold Alfond College Challenge, which provides a $500 grant to all Maine resident babies under one year of age who open a NextGen College Investing Plan® account. The babies are offered free professional photographs, which are taken by Dennis. A collection of featured photographs of these babies are part of the current display at FAME.
FAME strives to bring visibility to the achievements of Maine artists by providing opportunities to exhibit their artwork and to inspire passion about art in others.
The public may view the exhibition for free at FAME’s Augusta office until mid-January 2013. FAME is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. FAME’s office is located near the Augusta Civic Center at 5 Community Drive, Augusta, Exit 112 off I-95.
To learn more about FAME art exhibits and openings, or if you are an artist who would like to have your work considered for exhibition, please contact FAME at 1-800-228-3734.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) will hold its annual meeting and awards event, Showcase Maine, on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Portland’s Holiday Inn By The Bay.
Showcase Maine is a celebration of the many successful businesses and higher education initiatives happening within Maine.
The evening will feature a reception, including a showcase of exhibits by Maine businesses and educational organizations that partner with FAME; a dinner and awards presentation; and a keynote speech by Robert C. Pozen.
Pozen is a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He previously served as chair of MFS Investment; vice chair of Fidelity Investments; and president of Fidelity Management and Research Company. Pozen will offer post-election reflections on the U.S. economy, including the likelihood of Congress avoiding the impending “fiscal cliff.”
“We look forward to celebrating the successes of the past year with our partners in Maine’s business and higher education communities,” said Beth Bordowitz, FAME’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to showcase Maine businesses and educational organizations, and it is a privilege for us to honor some of Maine’s innovative leaders.”
This year’s award recipients include:
Anania & Associates Investment Company, LLC of Portland (Business at Work for Maine Award): Anania & Associates Investment Company is a private investment fund that invests in small, well-managed companies in the manufacturing, service and distribution sectors. Over the years it has successfully utilized the FAME-administered Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit Program to increase out-of-state investment in Maine. Some businesses in Anania & Associates’ portfolio have used other FAME programs to expand into new product lines.
Junior Achievement of Maine (Education at Work for Maine Award): JA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Maine students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. In the 2011-12 academic year, JA delivered programs to 535 Maine classes and 9,915 students in 112 Maine schools.
Camden National Bank (Financial Institution of the Year Award): Camden National Bank frequently partners with FAME to provide financing to Maine businesses. It also is committed to the communities it serves, supporting a variety of businesses, community, and non-profit organizations. The bank sponsors Community Spirit of Giving, a community outreach program that helps raise money to help area families in need at the holidays.
Machias Savings Bank (Financial Institution of the Year Award): Machias Savings Bank actively partners with FAME to provide financing to local businesses, including lobstermen and the fishing industry. In 2011, Machias Savings employees donated many hours of volunteer labor by participating in many worthy causes, from coaching youth sports to serving on non-profit boards. During the same period, the bank contributed monetarily to various organizations, as well.
Hon. David Richardson of Carmel (Dirigo Legislative Champion Award): Richardson, a state representative from Carmel, was co-chair of the 125 Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. He is a strong supporter of FAME’s mission, especially with respect to providing higher education opportunities for all Maine students.
The public is welcome to attend in this celebration. Anyone interested in attending the event can register online at www.famemaine.com
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) announced today that various fees within the NextGen College Investing Plan® (NextGen) will be reduced.
Effective June 29, 2012, total annual asset-based fees will be reduced in most portfolios in the Client Direct (self-directed) Series. Also, total annual asset-based fees will be reduced in all unit classes in the Client Select (advisor-sold) Series. In addition, initial sales charges on A Unit class purchases will be reduced for certain asset classes. These and other changes can be reviewed in more detail in the Supplements dated June 29, 2012 to the Client Direct Series and Client Select Series Program Descriptions.
Most portfolio fees will be reduced between four and eleven basis points. Fees are being reduced up to eleven basis points in the actively available A and C Unit Classes in the Client Select Series. The Account Maintenance Fee within the Client Direct Series has been eliminated.
For a complete list of changes to the various portfolios, please visit FAME’s Website at:
“We are pleased to be reducing fees within NextGen,” stated FAME Chief Executive Officer Beth Bordowitz. “We are able to offer these enhancements due to the program’s success, and we’re grateful to Merrill Lynch, the Program Manager, for their cooperation in reducing their fees. It is important for the program to remain competitive with other Section 529 plans around the nation while offering a variety of choices for investors. FAME and its Advisory Committee on College Savings, which is chaired by the State Treasurer, continually evaluate NextGen to identify opportunities to enhance and improve the plan.”
NextGen is one of the largest Section 529 college savings programs in the country, with almost $6 billion in assets as of May 31, 2012. It was created by the Maine Legislature in 1999 as a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. NextGen is a tax-advantaged investing program of the Finance Authority of Maine designed to help families prepare for qualified higher education expenses. Merrill Lynch is the program manager and underwriter of the plan. Anyone at least age 18 can open an account, regardless of income or residency, and assets can be used at any accredited U.S. post-secondary institution. Matching grants are available to eligible accounts.
FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue businesses and educational opportunities. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com.
NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Before you invest in NextGen, request a NextGen Program Description from your Maine bank or financial advisor, or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 and read it carefully. The Program Description contains more complete information, including investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in NextGen, which you should carefully consider before investing. You also should consider whether your home state or your designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s 529 plan. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer, member SIPC, is the program manager and underwriter.