Local students will receive college scholarships as a result of the Founders Fund, Inc. recent fundraising success. The non-profit charitable organization has only one mission, to provide financial assistance to Collier County students in pursuit of a higher education. They raised over $340,000 at the 2012 Ed Brennan Memorial Golf Tournament and Banquet held in early April at the Club Pelican Bay.
This year the event included a day of golf, cocktails, dinner and a live auction. The 245 banquet attendees were ready to bid as auctioneer Scott Robertson got the party started with his humor and alluring descriptions of the wide array of auction items. With an energized crowd, the live auction brought in over $140,000 alone.
“Since the organization was founded in 1991, the only goal has been to fund scholarships,” says Sue McNaghten, President of the Founders Fund. “And after months of effort, the Founders Fund trustees and the Club Pelican Bay produced a record breaking benefit for our student scholars. The evening was fast paced and exciting as the auctioneer created enthusiasm for the live auction trips and gourmet dinner offerings. The generosity of our benefactors and sponsors has created the opportunity for all students selected this spring to receive a $2500 scholarship rather than a $2000 one. What an incredible gift for these talented, but financially challenged, graduates of the class of 2012.”
Each year, the Founders Fund grants approximately 25 new scholarships. Students are identified by area guidance counselors for the selection process. The four-year renewable scholarships are awarded to Collier County students who have good grades and a financial need. This coming fall, the total number of scholarships to be funded is 100; this includes those already in the scholarship program from the past three years.
Helping to make the event a success were sponsors: MorganStanley Smith Barney, M&I Wealth Management, Mercedes-Benz of Naples, Northern Trust, PNC, Preferred Travel, Victoria Harrison P.A., Fifth Third Bank, Bigham Jewelers, Occasions of Naples, My Shower Door, William C. Huff Companies and a generous anonymous donor. Others that made great contributions to the success of the event were annual benefactors, donors and the Club Pelican Bay.
The Founders Fund just celebrated the end of their 20th anniversary year and the major accomplishment of granting over $2 million dollars in local scholarships. For more information about scholarships, sponsorships, or becoming a part of the organization, contact Sue Davenport at 239-593-0124 or 597-2244 or visit www.thefoundersfundinc.org.