Yet again, the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program has set a fundraising record. Last year, in its 30 year of raising money to help Transylvania County students further their educations, the program divided $90,000 equally among Blue Ridge Community College, Brevard College and Transylvania County Schools. This year, a total of $106,500 has been distributed.
On Nov. 19, volunteers from the Scholarship Program appeared at the meeting of the Transylvania County Board of Education to present the check in the amount of $35,500 to the Transylvania County Schools. Bill Medl, 2018 chair of the Scholarship Program, delivered the check to Jeff McDaris, superintendent, and Jeremy Gibbs, chief academic officer.
Medl stated that it was an honor “to present this year’s Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program check to Dr. McDaris during this month’s TCS Board of Education meeting. All of the volunteers associated with the scholarship program work tirelessly throughout the year to raise as much money as possible to help the seniors at Brevard High, Rosman High and Davidson River School further their educations at the college level if they are motivated to do so. We consider our contribution to TCS not only as an investment in the lives of the scholarship recipients, but in our local community as well.”
The $35,500 check for the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation was presented on Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Hendersonville campus of the college. Laura Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge, and Ann Green, executive director of the Educational Foundation, accepted the check from Bill Medl and Student Liaison Susan Edmonds.
Leatherwood said, “Our entire community benefits when we are able to remove financial barriers to higher education and training opportunities. We are so appreciative to the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program. They continue to step up year after year to make sure our students can meet their educational goals.”
The third and final check in the amount of $35,500 was presented to David Joyce, president of Brevard College, on Dec. 6 by Bill Medl and incoming 2019 Scholarship Program Chair Bryan O’Neill. Joyce noted his appreciation of the long-term relationship between the college and the people of Connestee Falls and observed that while the program’s fund-raising has increased every year, this year’s increase is “exponential.”
“It makes what we offer affordable for our students,” said Joyce.
The scholarship program’s final presentation of the year was to the Connestee Falls Property Owners’ Association Board of Directors meeting on Dec. 7. Outgoing Chair Bill Medl announced that at this point in its 31 years of raising funds, the program has provided close to $956,000 in scholarship assistance for Transylvania County students. More than 500 individuals and businesses contributed to this year’s record amount. He thanked the individual and business donors and the Connestee organizations, many of which hold special events to raise scholarship money - Art League, bocce, C.A.T.S., chorale, fishing, golf, pickleball, tennis, woodcrafters – as well as Connestee P.O.A. administration and the volunteers who make the program successful.
Incoming Chair O’Neill then described the newly established en-dowment, made possible by a $75,000 donation from the Phillips Foundation plus additional anonymous donations, for a total of $85,000. The endowment will be managed by a professional management company and will provide a basis for scholarships into the future.