CHARLESTON – In association with National 529 College Savings Day, State Treasurer John Perdue’s office is hosting an Ice Cream Social from 4 to 6 p.m. TOMORROW (May 29) at the Capitol Market and a SMART 5.29K Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m. SATURDAY (May 30) at 1116 Smith Street.
On Friday, people who stop by the SMART529 information table from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Capitol Market may pick up a voucher for a free scoop of Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream (redeemable at time of event only). Packet pick-up for Saturday’s SMART 5.29K Run/Walk will also be available at this time.
Each year on May 29 Treasurer Perdue and State Treasurers around the nation join the College Savings Plan Network in celebrating 529 College Savings Day to increase awareness about the importance of saving for higher education expenses.
“This year we are hosting two unique events in West Virginia to help educate people about the benefits of saving early for a college education,” said Treasurer Perdue. “With student loan debt topping $1 trillion, we must make sure we are doing all we can to educate young families about this option.”
Registration for the SMART 5.29K Run/Walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 30, in the parking lot of the Charleston Area Alliance on Smith Street. The race will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and awards will be presented immediately following the race.
The charity run/walk will raise money to establish SMART529 College Savings Plans for children recently adopted out of the foster care system in West Virginia.
“A very small percentage of children from the foster care system complete college,” said Rachel Kinder, the Permanency Coordinator for Frameworks, an agency which finds families for children waiting in the foster care system. “It’s about three percent nationally.”
All proceeds from the 5.29K registration, minus a $3.00 race fee, will be deposited into SMART529 College Savings Accounts. The accounts will be awarded through a selection process administered by Frameworks and Mission West Virginia.
“Children in foster care face daunting challenges when attempting to attend college. We want to provide any help we can,” said Treasurer Perdue.
Named after IRS section 529, a 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings opportunity for families of all income levels to save for future educational expenses at colleges, universities and technical schools. West Virginia’s plan, SMART529, is administered by the State Treasurer’s Office.