Mingo Junction native Rob Parissi, the founder of the group Wild Cherry and author of the all-time favorite hit "Play That Funky Music," has established an endowment fund for college-bound students at Indian Creek High School.
Honored last month by the Mingo Business Association with a dinner, resolutions, proclamations and McLister Avenue carrying the honorary name of Rob Parissi Boulevard, Parissi has established the Robert Parissi Scholarship Endowment, jumpstarting the fundraising with a $5,000 donation.
"Parissi has had so many opportunities and successes in life and wants to give back to his hometown and alma mater," said Billy Petrella, owner of Petrella Wealth Management through which the endowment has been established.
Rob Parissi, left and Billy Petrella discuss
endowment fund specifics.
"We are honored to have been selected as the adviser for Mr. Parissi. We manage a significant amount of money for numerous local nonprofits and frequently help wealthy clients establish donor-advised funds to help manage their personal tax liabilities and also to assist them in leaving their legacy in their community and to organizations that are often very close to their families," Petrella said. "The funds come with very low fees and management costs - that way more money actually goes where it was intended, to the nonprofit, rather than everyone's personal profits," Petrella said.
Questions regarding the endowment can be directed to Indian Creek schools or Petrella at (740) 314-8240.
The gesture doesn't surprise Francesca Carinci, a friend of Parissi's who was involved in planning last month's festivities honoring the former area resident who has never forgotten his roots.
"The Rob Parissi Endowment was created by Rob to award college scholarships to Indian Creek students. Rob was a Mingo High graduate, which is now Indian Creek. He told me that he wanted to do something for kids in the area," Carinci said. "Rob has been a quiet contributor to many causes in the area, such as Coats for Kids. The endowment was funded by Rob and will award a scholarship each year to a deserving Indian Creek student. Rob plans on actively managing this fund to insure that there is a long lifetime of financial benefit to Indian Creek High School. The endowment has already received several contributions from former area residents residing all over the country, and in communities nearby, such as Beaver Falls," she continued.
"The endowment is tax deductible for any gift over $1,000 and may be deposited directly into the endowment. Smaller contributions are kept in a Chase Bank account, and when the $1,000 threshold is met, the funds are transferred to the endowment. The smaller donations are made directly to me or Rob and then deposited in a business account. Any contributors wishing to see the books are welcomed to view the investment progress. We have a list of contributors, and Petrella Wealth Management Services invested the funds," Carinci said.
"Rob and I have made plans for fundraising events to add to the scholarship fund. This is an investment in the youth of this county. Rob has such love and affection for the people in this area, and he wants to see our area thrive," Carinci said.
"As his Ohio-based lawyer and his friend, I cannot say enough about the kindness and generosity Rob Parissi has shown to his hometown," Carinci said. "People are just starting to understand that his song 'Play that Funky Music' is the No. 73 song of all time. It has achieved worldwide recognition and is still wildly popular. Rob and his band Wild Cherry are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is one of the most famous sons of this area," she said.