Scholarship endowment reaches $10M

Twenty years after local business owners worked to kick-start the Shawano Dollars for Scholars program, the organization's endowment has reached $10 million.

Gary Cumberland, Dollars for Scholars president and assistant superintendent for Shawano School District, announced the organization had reached the milestone at an annual fundraising gala Friday night at The Gathering.

Cumberland said the feat was due in no small part to the generous estate of Judge Michael and Joanne Eberlein, which donated $7.5 million to Dollars for Scholars in 2011.

The program will give out $370,000 this year -- $270,000 to the Class of 2013 and another $100,000 to local students who are already in college. Dollars for Scholars is giving out 126 scholarships, averaging $2,500 each, this year, a far cry from the 16 $500 scholarships handed out in the program's first year.

"We all know the cost of education has gone up," Cumberland said.

More than $1.1 million in scholarships have been distributed through the local Dollars for Scholars, according to Cumberland. The donor list totals 259.

The record endowment furthers the group's goal to give scholarships to all Shawano students who wish to go to a university or technical college to further their education.

By Lee Pulaski
Gala celebrates 20 years of aid to continuing education
<p>"This gala is about the students, helping them to further their education through the scholarships they're awarded," Cumberland said. "The education that the students receive will last them forever, and we will know that we were part of that investment in their future."</p><p>The scholarships will be handed out Monday at Shawano Community High School. Derek Johnson, scholarship chair, announced the program had 30 more applicants this year than in any previous year.</p><p>"What that means is that there are 30 additional kids that feel that extending their education is something that's important," Johnson said.</p><p>Besides the scholarships, Dollars for Scholars also sponsored a program that helped 90 high school students better prepare for the ACT test.</p><p>Dollars for Scholars also presented $5,000 to the SCHS Music Department, which provided entertainment before and during dinner Friday.</p>
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