In the summer of 2012, the advisory board for the PHS Scholarship Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, set a $50,000 goal for scholarship monies for the PHS Class of 2013.
The advisory board, which awarded its first five $1,000 scholarships to the PHS Class of 2010, had just completed successful campaigns, awarding scholarships in the amount of $15,000 to the PHS Class of 2011 and $35,000 to the PHS Class of 2012.
An increase of more than 40 percent in awardable funds for the Class of 2013 was considered a “stretch goal” by this group.
“Our group has again exceeded our goal and will make awards, from donations and endowments, totaling $58,000 to PHS seniors at the May 20 awards ceremony,” said Sheila Kelley, chair of the PHS Scholarship Fund. “There are so many ways that our community supports the PHS Fund. This year our group, working with the State Theaters, coordinated movie showings on five early release Wednesdays. That initiative alone netted over $3,000. Additionally, our group continues to promote the Kwik Trip gift card program resulting in $6,800 in scholarship monies for this year’s class.
“What continues to amaze me is that our donors come from throughout the community — parents and families of current and graduated students, business and professional people, PHS alumni, community members, teachers and retired teachers, and people with connections to our University.”
The campaign for the Class of 2013 was aided by $10,000 in matching funds donated, in part, by Esterline Control Systems; Block, Scott and Heenan; Mound City Bank; Livingston State Bank; Kopp McKichan; Woodward Printing Services/the Shopping News; the Platteville Development Group; Cindy Tang; and Tricor Insurance.
“Awards from recently established scholarship endowment funds contributed nearly 20 percent of the campaign total,” said advisory board member Gene Weber. “Perhaps more important, the $11,500 distributed from these endowments is forever, so all future classes will enjoy that support.
“There have been nine new endowment funds initiated since 2010. Five of these were set up during this academic year alone, including one created by individuals who wish to remain anonymous plus the Tribute to St Mary’s Scholarship Endowment; Tranel Family Scholarship; the Frank & Dona Lofy Tribute to St Mary’s School Endowed Scholarship Fund in Honor of Peter, Paul, Mary and Patrick; and the Helen Stoneman Brodbeck Endowed Scholarship Fund. We see this as a very positive trend.”
Five years ago the Platteville Community Fund began examining the status of scholarship support for Platteville High School students pursuing post-secondary education. While there were a number of scholarship announcements at the annual awards night, the total amount of scholarship monies had not kept pace with the rising cost of education. From that study, the Platteville Community Fund formed the PHS Scholarship Fund.
“During our initial meetings, in 2010, we established a goal of raising $250,000, in endowment monies and spendable funds, by 2015,” said advisory board member Cindy Tang, who played a key role in initiating the PHS Scholarship Fund and its board. “In fact, including the endowed funds which will provide scholarships in perpetuity, we have raised $324,000.
“With this year’s awards, our advisory board will have provided $113,000 in actual awards to the Classes of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.”
The PHS Scholarship recipients will be announced at the Platteville High School awards ceremony in the Platteville High School auditorium Monday, May 20.
The goal for next year’s program is yet to be determined, but the advisory board is confident that the momentum from this year’s campaign will translate into even more scholarships in 2014.
“I believe we can achieve a similar or even increased success next year,” said Weber. “Several members of our group are reaching out to other potential donors and we will continue to develop new funds throughout our ‘offseason.’ I know the community is becoming aware of who we are and what we are trying to achieve and I encourage anyone interested to contact me, Kelley or donor services representative Barb Daus.”
To donate to the PHS Scholarship Fund, send a check to the PHS Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 46, Platteville, WI 53818. Online donations may be made at www.cfsw.org. The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax exempt to the full extent of the law.
For further information on the PHS Scholarship program, contact Barb Daus, donor services representative for the Community Foundation, 778-3344, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gene Weber, 778-6914, email@example.com; or Sheila Kelley, 348-2615, firstname.lastname@example.org.