The Johnsonburg Alumni and Friend’s organization has recently established an annual scholarship fund at the Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF). The initial purpose of this alumni group was to have all graduating classes from Johnsonburg Area High School and Friends to come together and enjoy the evening with classmates, relatives, neighbors, and friends. This event held in the fall of year has been going on since 2004. The reunion has been well received and many JAHS alumni and friends return each year to participate.
After much success the group also decided to establish an annual scholarship fund that would be offered to a graduating senior to benefit the student’s college funding. The scholarship will give future graduates a start for their continuing education. “We are inspired that our goal will give them (JAHS students) an opportunity for success” said Rita Blint one of the organizers of the committee. Applicants must be a graduating JAHS senior who is active in their school, church and community. Applications for the scholarship will be available through guidance counselor office at Johnsonburg Area High School by the end of January.
For the past few years the group has been administering the scholarship themselves but, as the fund grew, they looked into the benefits of establishing the scholarship through the Elk County Community Foundation. Recently, they decided to have the Foundation administer the scholarship as they do a number of other scholarships from the school, including the Alva K. Gregory Memorial/Johnsonburg Rotary, the Dr. Sandra Kowalski Nursing and the Caribardi Family Scholarships. Donations can now be given towards the scholarship through the Foundation, which will also offer the donor a tax benefit. The Foundation is considered a public charity and has an IRS registered 501(c) 3 status. Donations can be accepted at the Foundation, P.O. Box 934, St. Marys, PA 15857.
Another reason the committee chose to bring the scholarship to the Elk County Community Foundation is because the Foundation is approved as a PATH organization (Partners to Access to Higher Education). PATH is a special program through PHEAA that will offer some additional funding to student who qualify. Last year Students from the area who receive ECCF scholarships received an additional $27,500. The Foundation is only one of 35 organizations in Pennsylvania that are partners with this program.
The Foundation also assists donors who have an interest in starting a scholarship fund, whether as a general purpose or in the memory of a deceased family member or friend. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Paula Fritz Eddy, Executive Director at the Foundation for more information either by calling 814-834-2125 or visiting their website a www.elkcountyfoundation.com.