The Grand Island Community Foundation wants to encourage students in pursuit of post-secondary education to use the Foundation’s online application to apply for scholarships. The Community Foundation awarded more than 100 scholarships last year and expects to surpass that number this year. Each year scholarships are offered for both traditional and nontraditional students. With one application form, students will be eligible for all scholarships offered by the Foundation. The deadline for applications is midnight, February 19, 2015. Students should go to www.gicf.org and click on the scholarships tab to apply.
The first permanent scholarship fund was established in 1985 by Jim Kahroff, who wanted to create a legacy in honor of his grandfather, George Cowton. “The Grand Island Community Foundation is a growing legacy of our community. The Foundation has added an average of four new scholarship funds a year since 1985. We assist individuals and families in our community who value education and want to help students further their education,” said Tammy Morris, Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Island Community Foundation.
As college tuition continues to rise each year, the number of scholarship funds established at the Foundation continues to grow. In the last two years, new scholarships have been established to include the George Wanitschke Family Scholarship Fund established in memory of George Wanitschke, the Habitat for Humanity Scholarship established to benefit seniors and non-traditional students who currently reside in a Habitat home, the Paul D. Good Scholarship Fund for graduates of Grand Island Senior High and the Lynn Cronk Scholarship established by the board of trustees of the Foundation in recognition of the leadership Cronk provided as chair of the board for two years. The Foundation has more than sixty scholarship funds that award one to up to seven scholarships per year.
The James and Joy Zana Memorial Scholarship, established in memory of James P. Zana, has awarded 68 scholarships, which Scott and Reba Zana are very proud of. “When our daughter was involved in the fine arts we found that there were very few scholarships for the fine arts. So, when my dad had passed away in 2006, my wife, Reba and I decided to create a legacy in honor of my parents to give students at any Grand Island High School the opportunity to continue their education in the fine arts. They don’t have to major in the arts, we just want them to “keep the love of the arts alive” whether it be through music, dancing, film or acting,” said Scott Zana
“The Community Foundation offers a wide variety of scholarships ranging from engineering to automotive, to agriculture, to kindness,” said Morris. Two scholarships offered are for Hall County residents and students entering the healthcare profession such as dental, medical technology, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and radiology technology. Preference is given to students that have already been accepted into medical school or graduate school.
The Foundation has several scholarships dedicated to specific businesses. The Howard and Gladys Eakes Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the memories of Howard and Gladys Eakes and to benefit a child or stepchild of an Eakes Office Solutions employee. Another business dedicated scholarship is the Jim and Dee Price Scholarship, established in 2004 to benefit children of Kriz-Davis Co. employees. “The idea of a scholarship actually came from Jim when he was planning and thinking about his retirement. He definitely wanted to do something for those people that had impacted his life while he was working at Kriz-Davis and employees who give so much to the company. He wanted to be able to see the scholarship make a difference while he was still around to see it happen, for not only the employees' children but also the children of the future,” said Jim and Dee Price.
The Community Foundation even offers scholarships for grade school and junior high students. The William Fowles Memorial Fund offers scholarship to boys and girls, ages 7 – 17 years of age, who want to learn the game of golf. Bill loved golf and this scholarship fund helps youth with an interest in golf, but lack the resources to learn how to play. Scholarships are offered every summer for youth to participate in junior golf programs that not only teach golf, but also build character, self-confidence and skills. Another scholarship fund for junior and high school age youth is the Bob McFarland Fund. This fund, established because of Bob’s love of baseball, supports youth baseball in Grand Island by providing scholarships for little league baseball registration fees and uniform expenses for qualifying youth.
“Scholarships are a wonderful way for donors to impact the life of others not only through the practical skills learned in post-secondary education, but in the way they help students who aspire to further their education and achieve their lifelong goals,” said Morris. Each donor gets to specify the criteria for their scholarships. While some donor’s choose to take part in the review process of their scholarship(s) others prefer to have the Foundation and Board of Trustees review and select the scholarship recipients. Each scholarship application is carefully evaluated and considered. The Grand Island Community Foundation is accredited by the National Standards Board for U.S. Community Foundations and supports Grand Island, Hall County and surrounding communities in Central Nebraska. Annually, the Foundation receives approximately 50 grant requests, reviews 250 scholarship applications, and assists hundreds of donors through individual funds, family funds, and community projects.
“I am so touched by the generous individuals, families and businesses in the Grand Island community that have established these wonderful scholarship funds which create a legacy that lasts forever,” said Morris. The online scholarship application became available December 1, 2014 and can be found by visiting www.gicf.org and clicking on the scholarships tab. The deadline for applications is midnight February 19, 2015. If you have any questions or would like more information about scholarships please contact Melissa at the Grand Island Community Foundation by calling 308-384-7767. The Grand Island Community Foundation is located in the Great Western Centre Building at 1811 West 2nd Street, Suite 365, Grand Island, Nebraska.