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Pennies from Heaven?

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At a time when money seems to vanish into thin air, the principal of a Cranston, R.I., elementary school has had the rare delight of seeing it appear the very same way.

When he returned to work after the holidays, Vincent F. Rozen, principal of the Norwood Avenue School, discovered an envelope with no return address on his desk. In it was a cashier's check for $1,000, along with a typed letter signed "your friend, the shy benefactor."

This was Mr. Rozen's second mysterious encounter with the anonymous donor. In June, he had received an envelope with a $500 cashier's check.

"I have a burning desire to know who it is," said the principal, "to thank him or her in an eye-to-eye kind of way. But at the same time, I must respect his or her privacy."

Whether or not the donor ever reveals himself, however, the school has taken steps to see that his money is wisely spent. It has established a special parent-teacher committee that will decide how best to use the fund, with an eye to possible equipment purchases, especially mathematical supplies. In addition, Mr. Rozen said, the school intends to put aside $500 in a special account to establish a scholarship fund for graduates.

Although a small amount to start, the money will grow, he said, and give students an incentive to excel in school.

Meanwhile, he joins a grateful Norwood Avenue community in hoping they have not seen the last of their unseen, shy benefactor.

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