Press Release by Donn Williams

Crivitz Financial Literacy Initiative

 November 8, 2010 - The Nov. 2 election may be history, but the Crivitz Financial Literacy Initiative (CFLI) is still urging everyone to vote early and often. CFLI is teaming-up with the Crivitz School District to teach financial management skills to students. The initiative, launched by five area businessmen, is in the running for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant. To receive the grant, CFLI needs votes – lots of them.

To vote, people can visit the CFLI website,, and click on the Pepsi Refresh Project link on the bottom of the home page. People may vote once each day through November. At the end of the month, Pepsi will award $50,000 to as many as 10 ideas receiving the most votes. Each month Pepsi gives away $1.3 million to fund “great ideas.”
“I truly believe this is an opportunity to give back to the community. CFLI was set up to try and open the eyes of the kids to the fact that with a bit of planning and foresight, they can take control of their future, and not be dependent on others or the government for help!” said Ezra Gruszynski, owner of Crivitz Pharmacy. “The Pepsi Refresh Project is an excellent opportunity to raise funds not just for CFLI but also for other ‘great ideas’ around the country. Don’t forget to vote every day for this project, but for any other idea you think is worthy too.” 
Gruszynski is the originator of the idea to start CFLI. He serves on its board of directors with: Al Czerniewski Jr. of ProactivWEALTH in Crivitz; Paul Matty a Crivitz High School science teacher; Mike Piasecki a loan officer at Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust in Marinette; and Gordon Rieden a former Crivitz School District superintendent.
If CFLI is awarded the grant, the money would be used to get the financial literacy initiative off the ground.
CFLI’s mission is to build and promote the knowledge and skills necessary to help develop Crivitz students’ into self-supporting adults, capable of making critical decisions relating to personal financial matters.

The programs will begin in grades K-8. Each class will be given a sum of money that will be invested and managed by the board, until the students reach high school. While in grade school, students will be taught financial basics. The curriculum includes: investment options, checking and savings accounts, wise spending practices, mortgage loans, and interest rates.

When the students begin their freshman year, the class will take over management of the funds they were given. With guidance from the CFLI board, students will invest the money while they continue to learn about fiscal responsibility through their senior year.

Upon graduation, 50 percent of the funds are returned to the CFLI pool, 25 percent is given to the school district to be used as directed by the class, and 25 percent is divided equally among each member of the graduating class.

If CFLI is fortunate to receive the $50,000 grant from Pepsi, $15,000 would be used for financial literacy training programs and workshops, $30,000 would go toward establishing funds for grades K-8, and $5,000 would help purchase computers and school supplies.

“Funding is always important to any organization, and the Pepsi grant would be especially helpful to CFLI,” Gruszynski added. “Individual donations are also accepted. Anybody can feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions.”

People can contribute directly to CFLI by visiting the organization’s website at  Click on “Making a Difference”.