What is the Nancy O Fund?
The Nancy O Fund was founded in 1994 by John and Diane Ogrodowczyk, in memory of their daughter Nancy Ogrodowczyk, who died unexpectedly on April 16, 1994, the day before her 27th birthday, due to her lifelong asthma condition. Today the fund is part of the larger New Hampshire Charitable Foundation centered in Concord, NH.
Nancy was a consummate performer – a talented dancer, singer, musician, who shared her talents in so many ways. She especially loved musical theater and appeared in many productions, including the leading role in the Nashua Actorsingers production of 42nd Street. An accomplished pianist as well, she was the accompanist at summer stock musicals and community theater, including the Nashua Jr. Actorsingers. In addition, Nancy loved to teach dance to the little children at the Academy of Movement in Nashua. And as a French teacher at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH, Nancy even brought music and drama into her French classroom. She was a big part of their Drama Department, choreographing and teaching dance routines for the musicals productions.
Everyone knew her as “Nancy O”. Her little dance students affectionately called her “Miss Nancy”. To all, Nancy was a beloved teacher, performer, and friend, who gave so many of her wonderful gifts to the community, and especially to young people.
The Mission of the Nancy O Fund
The mission of the Nancy O Fund (NOF) is to enrich the lives of young people, especially children who might not have the advantage, by affording them the opportunity to experience the magic and joy of music, theater, and dance in the performing arts.
The Fund encourages and promotes community outreach programs to bring these performing arts experiences to these children. The Fund also encourages schools to create student outreach service projects and programs to work with these children and become valuable role models for them.
Grants Given by the Nancy O Fund
Since it's beginning, the NOF has given and continues to give grants and scholarship awards to various schools, children's theater camp programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.
One such example was Franklin Area Children's Theatre. “FACT” is an offspring of the Franklin Opera House in Franklin, NH. It provides a positive performing arts experience for children in grades one through eight. It is also an incredible educational experience for the teenage interns who are hired to work for the program. These teenagers work under the guidance of the Artistic Director, Jule Finley, to learn how to teach children to perform. They take what they learn, plus their own theater experience and work with groups of children. Each camp ends with a public performance on the stage of the Opera House where the campers demonstrate what they have learned.
Another example was the “Nancy O Award” scholarships annually to recognized graduating seniors at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH who have demonstrated a personal commitment to the performing arts and working with younger children. Nancy was a French teacher at SHS and was a big part of the Drama Department, choreographing and teaching dance routines for the musicals productions. But above all, Nancy was a much loved teacher who gave her wonderful gifts to the community, and especially to young people.
The NOF has also supported the only Asthma Camp in NH, sponsored by Zebra Crossings, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children with chronic illness. Nancy died of asthma. As if by Divine providence, one of the directors of this new asthma camp was actually a French student of Nancy's at the time she died in April 1994.
The “Nancy O Fund” has given grants of over $30,000 to kids performing arts programs of many organizations.
How to Donate to the Nancy O Fund
You can donate to the Nancy O Fund either online or by mail.
To donate online. click on www.NHCF.org below.
Then, at the top of the NHCF Home page click on DONATE ONLINE.
On the next page you will see a line that says... NEW: Support a specific fund.
Click on the words Donate to any fund.
On the next page you will enter the Fund Name: Nancy O Fund, and hit the Search button.
In the Search results click on Nancy O Fund and you will come to the donation page where you can fill out all the information needed.
If this is too complicated for you, just make out a check to "NHCF - Nancy O Fund" and I mail it to ...
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Nancy O Fund
37 Pleasant St
Concord NH 03301-4005
-or- you can mail it to me (see contact page) and I will take care of it for you.
Thank you so much for thinking about us... and Nancy.
Click here to donate >> www.NHCF.org