In the last 6 years, the Community Foundation of Warren County, along with matching grants from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA,) has provided over $5 million in scholarships to Warren County students going on to college or trade school. This tremendous philanthropic effort is due to the generosity of donors who have specified scholarships that are named and also to donors who have provided unrestricted funds for the Foundation to distribute as we desire.
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The scholarship program has two funding sources within the Foundation. First are “Restricted Scholarships” which have been created by 37 funds over the past six decades. Named for their donors, or as memorial funds, these scholarships are designated for specific fields of study—both undergraduate and graduate*—or as awards for academic achievement for high school graduates. A number of these funds are established to support studies related to careers in medicine, music, retailing, etc. Other funds have been established to benefit students from a specific region of the county. One of the largest restricted funds was established by Blair Corporation and many of its employees to provide scholarships for families of Blair employees. The Restricted Scholarship endowment funds were established by estate gifts or through ongoing contributions, by individuals and groups, amounting to approximately $6,200,000. The two largest estate bequests for Restricted Scholarship Funds are those of Richard D. & Edith H. Metzgar and Cornelius & Marguerite Pelletreau.
The second funding source is “Unrestricted Scholarships”. These are endowment funds provided by donors who, through estates or outright gifts, contribute to a pool of trust funds designated for scholarships without specific restrictions. The earnings from these trusts enable the Foundation to further expand the scholarship awards so that all students starting their post-high school education (subject to family income limits) will have an additional source of support to further their goals.
*Graduate grants are in the health care fields only
To endow a scholarship program as broad as that of the Community Foundation, there is a great reliance on unrestricted gifts. The Foundation believes so strongly in assisting Warren County’s young people attain higher levels of education that its Board of Directors/Distribution Committee has supplemented the unrestricted scholarship funds by allocating up to $300,000 per year from the income of its general pool of unrestricted gifts. Thus, the needs of nearly every eligible student can be met to some degree.
In total, scholarships account for nearly one-half of CFWC’s annual charitable distributions.