The Saint Mary’s auxiliary awards a number of $500 scholarships each year. The scholarship is available to current hospital employees who are actively continuing their education in the medical field. Each semester, the Scholarship Committee receives a multitude of applications and recipients are chosen based on certain criteria.
For the upcoming spring 2009 semester, 11 employees from four different hospital departments were selected. Recipients from Russellville include Zach Mabry, nursing; Lizabeth Fitzner, nursing; Samantha Chadha, nursing; Christy Butler, nursing, Brandon Faulkner, nursing and Lindsey Harris, respiratory therapy. Chelsea Spears, nursing and Shonda Matayo, nursing, of Pottsville; Lydia Zimmerman, respiratory therapy, of Dover; Gena Hanney, nursing, of Scranton and Toni Daniels, nursing, of Rogers were also selected.
Committee Chair Bill Shirley was on hand to formally award each scholarship. “The auxiliary is always happy to assist ambitious and talented individuals in reaching their educational goals and potential,” he said, “and we were very pleased that we were able to award more scholarships this season than for any previous semester.” The 11 scholarships awarded this month are a record for the auxiliary. Members are especially proud to have had this fundraising success during a time when many students are finding it difficult to obtain financial aid.
Scholarship funding is raised throughout the year in part through monies received as profit from Compliments Gift Shop, which is managed by the auxiliary. Proceeds from two annual jewelry sales, sponsored and hosted by the auxiliary, are also donated to scholarships. Used books sold in the gift shop, ranging in cost from 50 cents to $1.50, are collected entirely through donations, and the community is encouraged to bring gently used books to be re-sold. The auxiliary extends a special thanks to middle-school librarian Suzy Daniel for her donation of the book rack used in the gift shop.
Some scholarship funding comes directly from the volunteers themselves, via a “Money Jar” that is passed at each monthly meeting. “Everyone is good about donating,” said volunteer Dale Boeh. “We give loose change or even a five-dollar bill here and there – whatever we’ve got.” Though the used book program began just this year, monies collected through book sales and the passing of the jar were in themselves enough to entirely fund one of the spring scholarships.
Scholarship applications are available at the beginning of each semester in each department of the hospital. For more information about Saint Mary’s Auxiliary Scholarship Program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Lindsey Harris at 968-2841, ext. 0.