MENOMINEE — The M&M Area Community Foundation announced Monday that it has received a major donation to the Future Fund endowment program.

At an event held at KK Integrated Logistics, Cynthia Kuber of KKIL said that her family’s company would be donating a total of $176,750 to the program. Kuber said this donation comes with a pledge to start the accounts of every new kindergartener in both Menominee and Marinette counties for the next five years.

She said the total amount was reached based on the number of enrolled students in both counties over the last few years and projecting that forward. This year, Kuber said that there are around 700 eligible students entering kindergarten this year, which is up about 50 students from last year.

The Future Fund program is a newly-started program sponsored by Nicolet National Bank, Stephenson National Bank and Trust, Peshtigo National Bank, Delta County Credit Union and mBank. The program gives every new kindergarten student in Menominee and Marinette counties a $50 savings account. According to MMACF Executive Director Paula Gruszynski, Future Fund is modeled after other children’s savings account programs which have been established in 65 other communities nation-wide.

According to foundation Board President Dan Ward, the accounts would be opened for all new kindergarteners, including those attending private schools, charter schools or who are being homeschooled. “Our first of kindergarten students started school just one week ago, and we’re very excited,” he said.

“Obviously we are thrilled with the Kuber family’s generosity and leadership,” Ward said, “This contribution provides a solid base upon which to build our children’s future, but we’re not done yet. The foundation’s goal is to raise $1 million by the end of this year for this endowment.”

Gruszynski said the goal of Future Fund is to invest in the future of the two counties, increase graduation rates and expand financial literacy. The deposit-only accounts are opened automatically when a first-time kindergartener in either county is enrolled, and earn interest periodically. All of the accounts are owned by the MMACF, so withdrawals for career training, post-secondary education expenses or special needs accommodations have to be approved by the MMACF.

According to Gruszynski, students will have up to four years after their graduation to use the money they’ve built up in their accounts over time. Every year, parents will be given information about different incentives their child can earn. She said the MMACF will raise the money to be used as those incentives.

“It is our hope and intention that this Future Fund endeavor will create more opportunity and capacity for children and families in Marinette and Menominee counties,” Kuber said, “Our family values education at all levels. It is a priority in our charitable activities, so the Future Fund is a perfect fit.”