Saving the Attica Fund

In 1994 the RFC initiated its Prison Visit Program to enable the children and grandchildren of political prisoners to visit their incarcerated parents and grandparents. But it was under-capitalized, and we had to siphon funds from our regular granting to sustain it. Then in 2001 Elizabeth Fink, head of the legal team that won financial compensation for the victims of the mass killing and torture of inmates at Attica State Prison in 1971, and co-counsel Daniel Meyers and his wife Joan Max Reinmuth, made very generous gifts that launched a successful campaign to build this fund’s endowment.

I felt at the time that these gifts guaranteed the long-term financial viability of the RFC’s Attica Fund Prison Visit Program, renamed to honor this epic struggle for justice. I wrote, “The phrase poetic justice is inadequate to describe how I feel about using some of the reparations for the atrocities committed against the Attica Brothers, and won at such great cost by their resolute attorneys, to ensure that for years to come the children of political prisoners can visit their imprisoned loved-ones.”

The Attica Fund has always been particularly important to me because I would have almost no memories of my parents if I had not visited them in prison. I was overjoyed that during the next eight years the Attica Fund’s endowment generated sufficient income to award approximately $100,000 in grants.

And that’s why I was so distressed to be forced to announce in our last newsletter “that for the first time in eight years the Attica Fund’s endowment has become inadequate.” The recession coupled with increased demand left the fund in urgent need of a $10,000 infusion.

But now a generous donor has stepped forward and offered to match dollar for dollar up to a total of $5,000 all contributions earmarked for the Attica Fund in response to my appeal! This means every dollar you give for the Attica Fund will generate two. As of September 28th this appeal has already generated $1788, so with the match we have already raised $3576! And if our supporters collectively give a total of just $3212 more, we will receive an additional $3212 and achieve our $10,000 goal.

The goal is within reach. Please donate online now, and mark your gift “on behalf of Attica,” or send a check payable to the RFC, write “Attica” in the memo line and mail it to: RFC, 116 Pleasant Street, Ste. 348, Easthampton, MA 01027.

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