CALAIS _ Although the winter of 2013-14 was memorable for its heavy snow and ice cold days that led to broken pipes and huge oil bills, it hasn’t prevented area businesses and individuals from stepping forward to support students at Washington County Community College.
“This winter was a tough one,” WCCC President Joe Cassidy said. “But those people who support the college and the Direct-to-Student Scholarship Fund stand ready to help. It is that spirit of determination in Washington County that has helped make this college a success.”
This year’s fund raiser began in March and already more than 35 businesses have pledged $250 or more to the scholarship program.
The scholarship drive runs in tandem with WCCC’s annual golf tournament co-sponsored by Pratt’s Chevrolet, which has been a huge success for the past 13 years.
Last year, the scholarship drive raised more than $16,000 and it hopes to raise that much and more this year. Scholarships were presented to 55 students last year. “I wish I could describe the sparkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces when they learn they have been awarded a Direct-to-Student Scholarship. It is priceless,” Cassidy said. “We have had so many wonderful stories about how a scholarship has kept a student in college or helped a student move toward graduation.
Individuals and businesses that have stepped forward to date and have submitted their donations include: Border Electric, Calais Ace Home Center, the Calais Motor Inn, the Cassidy Family Book Scholarship, EBS Building Supplies, the Harold Howland Family Scholarship, PCT Communications, Riverside Electric, Roger’s Auto Sales, St. Croix Regional Technical Center, Tammy Smith Tax and Accounting, the Calais Advertiser, the International Motel, WCCC Student Senate, WCCC Show & Shine, WQDY Inc. and Yancy’s Restaurant all of Calais. Additional donors include: Bar Harbor Bank and Trust of Lubec and Machias, the Downeast Credit Union of Baileyville and Calais, Downeast LNG of Robbinston, Rob Wyatt, project manager for Downeast LNG of Robbinston, Dr. Brian Hoops of Baileyville, Ken and Jane Brooks Family Scholarship and Shining Star Scholarship.
What makes this scholarship program so unique is the role that the individual or business that donates plays in the life of the student as each scholarship created goes directly to the student. As in the past, donors are able to create their scholarship in their name or their business’ name, or in memory of a loved one. Or, the scholarship can be anonymous. Donors choose the program of study they wish to support and create the scholarship criteria.
Just like last year, there will be newspaper articles about this year’s donors as well as information about each donor’s support posted on the college’s website.
Last year, WCCC was named one of the 10 percent community colleges in the USA by the Aspen Institute and the 46th best community college in the USA by the Best Schools.org. In addition the college was named in the top 25 best community colleges in the USA by the Washington Monthly.
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. Make checks payable to the WCCC 2014 Scholarship Fund. For more information about the golf tournament or the scholarship program call Erskine at 454-1002.