The first quarter of 2019 saw several industry companies and organizations commit their support to Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF), pledging $29,000 for its Tomorrow Fund and Named Scholarships. Incentives West, Peerless Umbrella, Vantage Apparel and the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) have demonstrated their commitment to professional development and the success of the promotional products industry through higher education with pledges to PPEF.

The Tomorrow Fund is a long-term program established in 2000 to allow companies and individuals to pledge donations to PPEF and promote education and achievement within the promotional products industry. Pledges are made over a six-year period and several giving levels have been established for donors. Levels range from Diamond, a $240,000 donation, or a $40,000 donation per year for six years, to Iron, a $6,000 donation, or $1,000 per year for six years.

“I have been an advocate and volunteer with PPAI over the years and involved in several different projects. My wife Roxanne and I started this business 19 years ago and volunteerism has been a big part of it,” says Mark Shinn, MAS, president of Incentives West, which became a Bronze-level sponsor with a $12,000 pledge. “I’ve seen PPEF progress and develop how its supported people we know and their families, the companies involved with the foundation and the leadership of its board. I wanted to make a statement to validate its work. And the industry has been very kind to us over the years, so we wanted to make a contribution while we are active in it.”

Gene Moscowitz, president of Peerless Umbrella, which made an Iron-level pledge to PPEF in the first quarter, says, “I am thankful for the community that I have connected with throughout my career in the promotional products industry and thrilled that Peerless Umbrella is able to give to the next generation through the PPEF Tomorrow Fund. Helping families fund college tuition for their children is a great way for us to give back to the industry. There is no better investment than investing in education for the future generations.”

Vantage Apparel made its second pledge to the Tomorrow Fund in first quarter 2019. The $6,000 pledge brings the supplier’s total Bronze-level commitment to the Tomorrow Fund to $18,000. Ira Neaman, founder and president of Vantage Apparel, says, “Vantage Apparel was proud to be able to contribute to PPEF. PPEF is one of the cornerstones of our industry that makes sure the industry remains robust for many generations to come. Contributing money or time as a PPEF volunteer is one of the greatest things we can do to help reduce the burden of expenses for college-bound students and their industry-working families.”

PPEF’s Named Scholarships allow the naming of scholarships in honor or in memory of an individual or company, a recognition that will last for the life of the scholarship associated with the gift. UMAPP contributed $5,000 to the establishment of the UMAPP Collegiate Scholarship. Eligible to the staff of UMAPP member companies and their children, the scholarship will award recipients $1,000 for the next five years.

“Since the 1990s, UMAPP has offered multiple opportunities for students to apply for a scholarship,” says Sue Selseth, UMAPP executive director. “The decision to move to PPEF was a logical direction because of the association’s affiliation with PPAI and the excellent program that PPEF manages. UMAPP is always thinking of ways to maximize member benefits and to manage the best financial decisions. Moving to PPEF to offer collegiate scholarships to our members will provide excellent opportunities for students.”

Since 1989, PPEF has awarded $1,942,000 in college scholarships to 1,113 students. In 2019, it will award $230,000 to 151 recipients. To learn more about PPEF, click here.