Harold Alfond College Challenge Casting Call in Portland Searching for Future Faces of Maine

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A “Future Faces of Maine” Casting Call will be held at the Wyndham Hotel Ballroom in South Portland across from Maine Mall on Saturday, October 16. The Casting Call events not only help search for fresh Maine baby faces for advertising the program, but give all eligible Maine babies and their families the opportunity to receive help completing the application for the $500 Harold Alfond College Challenge Grant. The $500 Alfond Grant is available to all Maine babies when a NextGen College Investing Plan® account is opened by their first birthday. At the casting calls, Maine babies under the age of one will receive a free professional portrait and may have their picture appear in future Harold Alfond College Challenge advertising. Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) staff will be on hand with information and to provide assistance in completing the enrollment form for families interested in the $500 grant.

“Mr. Alfond hoped that, by offering this start for all Maine babies, others would help with the pursuit of higher education,” said Elizabeth Vanderweide, program manager for the Harold Alfond College Challenge.

A “Future Faces of Maine” Casting Call will be held at the Wyndham Hotel Ballroom in South Portland across from Maine Mall on Saturday, October 16. The Casting Call events not only help search for fresh Maine baby faces for advertising the program, but give all eligible Maine babies and their families the opportunity to receive help completing the application for the $500 Harold Alfond College Challenge Grant.

The $500 Alfond Grant is available to all Maine babies when a NextGen College Investing Plan® account is opened by their first birthday. At the casting calls, Maine babies under the age of one will receive a free professional portrait and may have their picture appear in future Harold Alfond College Challenge advertising. Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) staff will be on hand with information and to provide assistance in completing the enrollment form for families interested in the $500 grant.

Casting call events held last fall and earlier this year attracted over 1,300 Maine babies and assisted in the opening of nearly 1,000 NextGen® accounts to receive the $500 grant. There are over 5,800 babies already participating in the program. 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.

“Mr. Alfond hoped that, by offering this start for all Maine babies, others would help with the pursuit of higher education,” said Elizabeth Vanderweide, program manager for the Harold Alfond College Challenge. “So, while making additional contributions isn’t required to receive the grant, we do hope families and others will also invest in these children’s futures.”

The Harold Alfond College Challenge will hold the Casting Call Saturday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wynham Hotel Ballroom (glass towers) across from Best Buy at the Maine Mall in South Portland.

About the Alfond Scholarship Foundation
The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established specifically to sponsor and support the Harold Alfond College Challenge. This 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 http://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 http://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.

Please remember there's always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

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.

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Elizabeth Vanderweide
FAME
800.228.3734
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