Rotary Club announces two new four-year scholarships   Buckrail - Jackson Hole, news
Big check. Big deal! Hank Phibbs, Mike Blazek, and Karen Coleman celebrate scholarship donation.

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Rotary Club of Jackson Hole has some big buy in for high school seniors with big plans.

As seniors hit the home stretch and many are busy writing up scholarship applications, Rotary Club just announced, for the first time, two outstanding students will be awarded a four-year, $20,000 scholarship. The scholarship will be disbursed in four $5,000 installments. The new scholarship was decided at the March 6 Rotary Club lunch meeting.

Jeff Ward, chair of the club’s scholarship committee, said the scholarship idea was made possible by 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 said large donations, like those from community benefactors Foster Friess and Wayne Hughes, play a vital role in allowing Rotary to take this next big 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 on the board of Rotary Club of Jackson Hole Foundation. She said, “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. 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.”

Ashley thanked the Community Foundation for its role in setting up a scholarship fund. Club president Hank Phibbs thanked The Wort hotel and its owners the Baxters for hosting such a successful fundraiser.