HIGH SCHOOL — Many Conrad High School graduates have benefited from the Dollars for Scholars program. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
In 1995, Butch Orcutt donated over $7,000 in memory of his wife Joan to kick start a new community scholarship fund.
The charter board members decided to affiliate with the National Organization Scholarship America. With the guidance of Scholarship America, Conrad Dollars for Scholars (DFS) was born.
That first year $800 was divided among three graduating seniors. As they approach their 19th year, Conrad DFS has awarded over $700,000 in scholarships to Conrad High School graduates. The Board of Directors has learned valuable lessons from Scholarship America.
Due to upcoming changes within their parent organization, as of 2014 Conrad Dollars for Scholars will be breaking away from Scholarship America to ensure long term local control over their foundation.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014 Dollars for Scholars will be changing its name to Conrad Scholars and merging with another local benevolent organization, Conrad Community Education Foundation (CCEF). Joining forces with CCEF, a tax exempt organization, will combine resources and strengthen both entities. The mission statements of both foundations is very similar in that they want to involve and assist the community in enhancing the educational environment of the Conrad Public Schools system by supporting students and encouraging education achievement.
The goal is to build Conrad pride for generations past, present, and future.
Vanessa (Yeager) Bucklin, a Conrad High School graduate, was a fortunate winner of one of the first DFS awards.
She is a Charter Board Member and Secretary of CCEF and had welcoming words regarding the union of the two organizations. “Dollars for Scholars” is an outstanding organization which we have fully supported. We are thrilled to merge the efforts of Dollars for Scholars with Conrad Community Education Foundation. A true success story for Conrad, Dollars for Scholars has helped make dreams come true for many students over its 18 years of providing scholarships.”
Other Board Members for CCEF include President Karla Styren, Vice President Mark Gage, Treasurer Barb Judisch, Jay Taylor, Cheryl Schlepp, Karla Breding, Lynn Utterback, Christy Nelson, Ashley Buswell and Craig Barringer.
The Conrad Scholars Board of directors includes Chris Vermulm, Meagan Heinen, Kayce Bitney, LeAnn Hermance, Patti Orcutt, Kody Farkell, Jane Holzer, Janice Hoppes, Dede Brown, John McFarland, Jim Meier, Judy Ellis, and Richard Murack. Both clubs rely on a group of dedicated volunteers.
Bucklin and her fellow Board Members agree in the mission of Dollars for Scholars and know that the synergies between the two organizations will be a positive force for education in our community.
Jim Meier adds, “This is a great opportunity for two local organizations with similar missions to pool their resources and strengthen both foundations. We look forward to an exciting future together.”
Upcoming CCEF events include: Stockman Bank Tailgate co-hosted by CCEF on Sept 6, Murder Mystery during Harvest Fest Saturday Oct 5, at Pondera Golf Club; and a new campaign kickoff to provide Technology to Every Student including a fundraiser “The 59425 Club”.