Posted by kb on Mar 12, 2018
It’s that time of year when High School seniors are wrapping up writing scholarship applications. This year, for the first time, two outstanding students with be awarded a four-year, $20,000 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole. The scholarship will be disbursed in four $5,000 installments. The new scholarship was announced at the March 6th Rotary Club lunch meeting.
Jeff Ward, the chair of the club’s Scholarship Committee, explained that the impetus for this new scholarship was the record-breaking 2017 Casino Night fundraiser. It prompted the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole Foundation, the entity that manages and disburses the scholarship funds, to begin exploring an endowment.  The foundation board worked with the Community Foundation to establish a fund that would allow the club to offer two four-year scholarships this year, which will be administered by the Community Foundation. Ward acknowledge the role that large donations from Foster Friess and Wayne Hughes have played in allowing Rotary to take this next step. Rotary will also continue to award one-time scholarships in the $1,000-$5,000 range.
Community Foundation representatives Karen Coleman and Amy Wheeler were present at the Rotary lunch on Tuesday for the new scholarship announcement. Rotarian Mike Blazek presented Karen Coleman with a check for $250,000 as the initial deposit into the four-year scholarship fund.
Deidre Ashley serves as the board of the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole Foundation. “The Club’s foundation takes stewardship of donations very seriously and we want to do what we can to ensure our scholarships go to deserving students well into the future,” said Ashley.  “We also recognize that being successful at college means completing it, so for a while have been exploring how we could offer four year scholarships. This required a sound plan for managing what turns into a four year relationship with a student, rather than a one-time gift. We are very fortunate to have the Community Foundation as a resource in this community, which has allowed us to realize this philanthropic vision.”
Club President Hank Phibbs thanked The Wort hotel, and its owners, the Baxter family, for hosting such a successful fundraiser, leading to the establishment of this new fund and scholarship program.