Sam and Paula Barone

Sam and Paula Barone

MOUNT VERNON – Sam Barone will retire from his position as the first executive director of the Knox County Foundation, in which he has served admirably for the last 18 years, on July 10.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is recognizing his dedication to serving Knox County by establishing the Barone Family Arts in Education Fund.

This endowed fund aspires to enrich the lives of Knox County primary and secondary school students by enabling innovative integration of the arts – music, fine art, dance and dramatic arts (including playwriting) – into classroom curricula.

The fund was inspired by the success of the 26-year-old Youth Enrichment Series (Y.E.S.), which then classroom teacher Paula Barone proposed to the Mount Vernon Community Trust in 1994. With financial support from the Knox County Foundation the Y.E.S. Program has continued to provide an annual live performance experience for every primary school student in Knox County.

While Fund income may on occasion be used to support established programs such as Y.E.S., its primary focus is to inspire Knox County educators to continuously expand their students’ appreciation of the full range of artistic endeavor. Funding priority should be given to proposals that impact the greatest number of students, and that provide opportunities for students to be actively engaged in artistic expression.

Those interested in contributing to this fund are encouraged to visit and click on the “Donate” button at the top, or call Lisa at 740-392-3270.

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