From the community

Golfers swing for Scholarships

Posted June 28, 2012, at 5:45 p.m.

Contact Info

Name: Tina Erskine

Email Address: terskine@wccc.me.edu

Phone: (207) 454-1002

Date Submitted: June 28, 2012

CALAIS _ The 11th annual Washington County Community College Golf Tournament to raise scholarship money for WCCC students that is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, at the St. Croix Country Club, is even bigger and better than last year.

There will be two shotgun starts at 7:30a.m. and 1p.m.

This year, thanks to the generous donations of Calais business owners Ed Bell of Bell’s IGA, Ken Thomas of the International Motel, Drew Case of Calais Ace Hardware and Marcia Carlow of H & R Block in Calais and Machias, each golfer will receive a colorful commemorative T-shirt to honor the days event.

And again this year, for the lucky golfer who hits a hole-in-one on the first hole, there will be a brand new car. Tournament co-sponsor Ian Pratt of Pratt Chevrolet- Olds-Buick-Pontiac-Geo on the River Road in Calais is the sponsor of that prize. Pratt also plans to donate other prizes for the tournament. In addition, there are prizes for anyone who hits a hole-in-one on the sixth hole.

Last year, WCCC President Joyce Hedlund came up with the idea of the Direct-to-Student Scholarship Program.

“I looked at the resources generated by the golf tournament and asked how could we use hole sponsors differently to generate resources,” she said. “During discussions with staff members the whole concept of selling the holes as scholarships really came forward. We said we would try it and see how well it went.”

People stepped forward.

“We were able to generate $12,000 for scholarships,” she said. “What we discovered was that people in this area are very generous and they really believe in the students who go to school here.”

And a popular part of the program; donors were able to create their scholarship in their name or their business’ name. Some even created a scholarship in honor or in memory of a loved one. Donors chose the program of studies and created the criteria; $250 or more made a difference in a student’s life.

In February, scholarships were presented to 35 WCCC students at the Annual Student Scholarship luncheon. At that time, the individuals and businesses that donated had the opportunity to meet the student recipients and program faculty. Hedlund said she was impressed with the number of donors who attended even though it was a weekday luncheon. “People were really enjoying getting to know their students and the students were very interested in getting to know the donor,” she said. “It was very special.”

Hedlund said the scholarship she and her husband, Wes, gave last year went to a student in the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Program. The three met at the luncheon. “And you could see that it touched him [the student]. There is no better way to help students stay in college and to encourage them than by saying ‘we believe in you.’ “

Hedlund said the Direct-to-Student-Scholarship program can make a difference. “Students who come from Washington County who may be low income may end up borrowing. This new scholarship program is going to help them attend college without graduating with a heavy debt. As we all know at the state and national level the amount of indebtedness for students is an issue.”

And just like last year, there will be newspaper articles about this year’s donors as well as information posted on the college’s website. And during the golf tournament, the names of each of the donors will be on a large poster at the St. Croix Country Club. “Promoting the donors is important to us. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity,” she said.

Those that have created scholarships for the 2012 tournament in their business or family name are A.E. Horne of St. Stephen, NB, Calais IGA, H&R Block, Calais Ace; Yancy’s Restaurant, International Motel, WCCC Student Senate, Joyce & Wes Hedlund, EBS, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust or Lubec and Machias, Diane Barnes, Wesserunsett Consulting, Bill & Sue Cassidy, Quoddy Pilots, Arlo & Bonnie Smith, St. Croix Regional Vocational Center, Gayle Moholland, WQDY, Mingo Construction, Daylily Dyeworks, Raye’s Mustard Mill, Diana Graettinger, Eastport Port Authority, Dr. Brian Hoops, Calais Advertiser, John Churchill, Roger’s Auto Sales, Inc. and Eastland Motel.

Anyone who would like to participate in the scholarship program can send their donation to Tina Erskine at Washington Community College, One College Drive, Calais, ME 04619, or for more information about the golf tournament or the scholarship program call Erskine at 454-1002.

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