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Foundation grateful for the generous gift
Piggy bank
The Fennimore Community Scholarship Foundation has a lot to be grateful for this holiday season thanks in part to the generosity of one former resident.
The Foundation recently received a $25,000 donation from former Fennimore School District Administrator Connie Schiestl.
“It was an out of the blue donation,” Fennimore Community Scholarship Foundation President Mandy Henkel shared. “Connie wanted to make a donation that would benefit the community. She spoke with her family and with their approval and support, she decided to make the donation to the Fennimore Community Scholarship Foundation.”
Schiestl worked with her children, Amy (Peterson) Dobson, Ryan Peterson, and Erica (Peterson) Dobson to make the decision to benefit the Foundation specifically and with no stipulation or criteria for the money.
“Sometimes we have donors who request that their donation benefit a student going to a particular program or school,” Henkel explained. “But, with Connie’s donation we will add it to our General Fund.”
All Fennimore graduates qualify for a scholarship from the Foundation’s General Fund.  In fact, as part of one of their courses at school, they fill out the application ensuring their opportunity is fulfilled.
In the most recent years, the Foundation has been fortunate enough to award each qualifying graduate with a $700 scholarship.
Donations like Schiestels is what keeps the Foundation going year after year.
“This will absolutely help us when we’re making sure everyone gets at least one scholarship,” Henkel said.
Last year, the Foundation was able to award 53 scholarships worth over $46,000.
“I want to remind you, that all of the scholarships we are giving away tonight were donated by individuals, either as a gift, a memorial, or named endowment,” Henkel shared in her speech during last springs award ceremony. “Without your continued support, none of this money would be available to be distributed to these seniors. It is a great tribute to the people of this community who want to leave a legacy behind and give the same opportunities to the youth of our school district.”
The Fennimore Community Scholarship Fund was founded in 1985. In its almost 35 years the foundation is awarded 797 scholarships since its inception.
“For the purpose of investing I n the future, the Fennimore Community Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit, non stock corporation formed to raise money to establish a permanent endowment fund for scholarship graduates of Fennimore High School,” The Foundations website shares. “The Foundation’s efforts are intended to supplement existing scholarship programs and awards, not to compete with them. Its goal is to offer a scholarship to every senior graduating from Fennimore High School who wants to continue his/her education.”
“The Foundation board is so grateful for all of our donors,” Henkel said. “We get several donations from various individuals, sometimes in the form of a memorial, sometimes people just pass the hat at a class reunion. There is no donation too small. Even if someone just donated $5 it goes in that General Fund and helps us award those scholarships. The community really just comes out to support us and the Foundation really feels that generosity.”

Henkel notes that there is no donation too humble. All donations help towards improving the lives of Fennimore graduates with their further education. Those interested in donating can visit the Foundations website at to learn more.