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Occasion of Harold Alfond's Birthday on March 6th is an opportunity to give thanks and celebrate

FAME announced that over 1,000 Maine families have requested information to open a NextGen® College Investing Plan Account and receive their $500 Harold Alfond College Challenge grant  for their newborns.  The unprecedented college savings grant program awards a $500 grant to all Maine babies born on or after January 1, 2009 as long as an account is opened by the baby's first birthday.  The Harold Alfond College Challenge is administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and is funded by the Harold Alfond Foundation.

"In the first two months over 1,000 parents have shown their commitment to their child's future by submitting a request to receive the enrollment kits needed to open an account, and hundreds are filling out applications for their new arrivals," said Elizabeth Vanderweide, Harold Alfond College Challenge Program Manager.  "We're delighted at the initial response. We owe much of the success to the support and assistance of our hospital partners who help by telling new parents about the program when they review paperwork while mom is still in the hospital."

FAME has been partnering with all of Maine's hospitals and many physician practices and social service organizations to inform new parents of the Alfond Grant. The partners have taken the initiative of placing posters and brochures in their offices, mentioning the program to each individual patient and even hosting workshops.

"We're so grateful for Mr. Alfond's generosity and the commitment of each Maine hospital to help get the word out," said Trish Malloy, Outreach Representative at FAME. "Mr. Alfond wanted to challenge communities and businesses to also help ensure that all Maine families aspire and invest 

Photo caption:  The Family Birthplace RNs: front: Shannon Staples, Carol Welsh, Perinatal Educator, Alison Newton, Nurse Director, and back: Kim Gadway enjoy the Alfond celebration brownies.

in their children's future, and Maine's hospitals have been integral in transforming his vision into reality."  The Harold Alfond College Challenge made a special delivery to the maternity units of all of Maine's hospitals on Friday, March 6th as a modest thank you for their efforts to date.

"Mr. Alfond's Birthday is a great time to honor this legacy gift, and remind families of the significance of their child's first birthday which is the deadline by which the NextGen account must be opened in order to receive the Alfond Grant," says Vanderweide.   Stephens Memorial Hospital's The Family Birthplace  is hosting enrollment workshops at various time throughout the year. For more information call 207-743-1562 x380.

For more information on the Harold Alfond College Challenge please call 800-228-3734 or visit

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 new 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

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 is the administrator of the Harold Alfond College Challenge.  To learn more about FAME, please visit
NextGen is a Section 529 plan administered by FAME. Merrill Lynch is the program manager and underwriter. Before investing you should carefully consider the investment objectives, charges, expenses and risks of investing in the NextGen Plan. You should also consider whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's 529 plan. Request a Program Description from your Maine bank or financial advisor, or call FAME at 1-800-228-3734 and read it carefully.  Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated is a registered broker-dealer and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.  Bank of America Corporation has a substantial economic interest in BlackRock, Inc. Investment products provided by Merrill Lynch are not FDIC insured, not bank, state or federal guaranteed, may lose value.

Stephens Memorial Hospital is an affiliate of Western Maine Health, which is part of the Maine Health® family.  Visit Western Maine Health on the Internet at


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