Naples, FL, May 28, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Who would have thought a group of golf club members from Pelican Bay could award over two million dollars in scholarships? The original goal, in 1991, was to offer scholarships to the children of staff members at Club Pelican Bay. The dream quickly expanded to include other Collier County students desiring a higher education but who could not afford all the expenses on their own.
This year marks the 20th anniversary for the Founders Fund and a total of 479 local students have received scholarships thus far. This number includes the 26 exceptional students who will be receiving scholarships to attend college this fall. This number includes 23 Collier County students and three children of Club Pelican Bay employees.
The Founders Fund, Inc. is a non-profit and tax-exempt charitable organization that has many of its original founding members still very active in the fundraising efforts that guarantee at least 23 new scholarships are awarded annually.
“Since our scholarships are renewable each year for students who keep a B average, we always have between 90 and 100 students that are receiving our scholarships annually,” said Sue McNaghten, President of the Founders Fund. “That means we have to raise enough funds to meet the $200,000 budget every year for these scholarships and we have continued to do that through the Club Pelican Bay social and golf members, Founders Fund benefactors, sponsors, donors, and our biannual golf event and dinner. We have been very blessed to have such dedicated people believing in our mission.”
The 2011 Annual Scholarship Awards Reception was held for this year’s recipients at the Club Pelican Bay on May 3 with students, family members, high school counselors, benefactors, board members and sponsors in attendance.
Rocky Caldwell, First Chairperson of the Founders Fund in 1991 opened the program for the evening by encouraging students to work hard and to do everything they can to preserve our American freedoms. George Fox, also a founding member, spoke next and gave a short recap of his life, his struggles and his success. Fox came from humble beginnings and as a boy worked in the fields picking beets but later went on to a military career, college on the GI bill and had a successful career on Wall Street. He attributes his success to hard work and determination.
“It’s just as important to know what you don’t want to do in life, as it is to know what you want,” said Fox. “I knew I didn’t want to work in the fields bringing in crops the rest of my life so I made the choices that led me to the life I have now.”
The mission is to provide financial assistance to young men and women from Collier County in their pursuit of higher education and once again, the Founders Fund has met its goal awarding the following scholarships.
2011 Scholarship Recipients:
Barron Collier: Margit Mikkelsen, Alina Winschel
Community School: Sophia Kyle
Everglades: Haylee Stokes
Golden Gate: Alexis Schlaupitz, Camila Perez, Katherine Estrada, Xiomara Brioso-Rubio
Gulf Coast: Tania Saade, Kristi Balavage, Danielle O’Connell
Immokalee: Brenda Gutierrez, Maria Franco-Munguia, Yaresly Trejo
Lely: Dennis Alas, Bailey Quinn
Lorenzo Walker: Maritza Payan
Naples: Nicholas Dudley, Michael Lopez, Brittany Hunter
Palmetto Ridge: Nathan Andrus
St. John Neumann: Christie Kuzma, Elba Campos
The Club Pelican Bay: Pierce Bittner, David Lucks, Chris LaCivita
For more information about scholarships or the Founders Fund, Inc., contact Sue Davenport at 239-593-0124 or 597-2244 or visit www.thefoundersfundinc.org.