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Exciting Atkinson Imagine Scholarship News

Dear LHS Friends:

This posting announces two very exciting new developments for The Gary Atkinson Imagine Scholarship — sponsored by LHS Class of 1973. The first is that the 50th Reunion organizers have completed the legal steps to qualify donations to the Gary Atkinson Imagine Scholarship as tax deductible. The second is that fellow classmate—and friend of Gary Atkinson—Dr. Ed Neely has stepped forward to generously match up to $1500 in new donations to the Imagine Scholarship for a limited time. Read on for more details.

Tax Deductible Eligibility

As outlined in the FAQ in our original announcement of the scholarship, donations to the original GoFundMe page did not qualify as tax deductible. Starting now, donations made as outlined below, qualify for tax-deductible treatment for taxpayers with itemized deductions. Please note: Scholarship and Reunion organizers are not qualified to give tax advice, so as always, confer with your tax professional to confirm how donations would be treated given your individual tax situation before donating.

New Donation Matching up to $1500

With the upgrade of The Gary Atkinson Imagine Scholarship to official 501(c)(3) status, classmate Dr. Ed Neely generously said he wanted to bring some excitement into our fundraising efforts by offering to match up to $1500 in new donations—in effect doubling the value for those who choose to take advantage of his generous offer. To place a time limit on this, the matching period will last only 30 days—December 7th will be the last day eligible for matching. So, let's continue supporting this worthy effort and create tax deductions for ourselves!


Q: How do I make these new tax-deductible donations? A: At this time, there are two ways to make donations.

  1. Donors can contribute through Venmo directly to the dedicated Imagine Scholarship account. The Venmo account name is Atkinson-Imagine-Scholarship.

  2. Alternatively, donors can make a check out to “The Gary Atkinson Imagine Scholarship” and mail it to 95 Vicente Rd., Berkeley, CA 94705. We continue working through other (including credit card) ways to donate and will announce those separately.

Q: Wait—isn’t setting up a tax sheltered structure expensive? Doesn’t that mean some of our donation dollars are going to legal fees rather than scholarship? A: Ordinarily yes, but not in this case. Classmate John Dunham previously set up a tax-exempt private foundation (CA Caw Foundation, EIN 84-3155094). In support of the Atkinson Imagine Scholarship, he created separate dedicated bank accounts to handle the receipt and distribution of scholarship funds. There were some legal fees incurred to make it legal for the CA Caw Foundation to operate in CT (such as giving scholarships to LHS) but those have been covered by the CA Caw Foundation and will not be assessed against Atkinson Imagine Scholarship funds raised. 100% of Imagine Scholarship funds raised will go to students.

Q: How do I document my donation for tax purposes? A: Donors will be sent a formal receipt letter from the CA Caw Foundation, confirming their donation and including the information needed for their tax return.

Q: Can anyone do a matching gift like Ed is doing here?” A: Yes. If that’s something you feel moved to offer, please contact John Dunham directly at

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