More Oregon students will have access to college thanks to 80 Running Y homeowners who raised more than $13,000 in scholarship funds at their annual “Party with a Purpose” held on Saturday, August 8. The donated funds quickly turned into $26,000 with a matching pledge by the William D. Lynch Foundation.
The party is hosted each year by a committed group of volunteers who provide the food and beverages for the more than 140 guests. Committee member Laurel Joakimides, said, “Our true joy in this endeavor was meeting the scholarship recipient and listening to her story.” The volunteer planning committee of Running Y homeowners include Tom & Anne Ludlow, Terry & Laurel Joakimides, Jerry & Susan Freschi, John & Lois Stilwell, John & Lauri Blaufus, and Mike & Mimi Williams.
Also in attendance were Running Y Resort owners Bill and Lynelle Lynch and general manager George Rogers. Mr. and Mrs. Lynch are devoted to the long-term success of the resort and expanding its presence and commitment to the local community. Last year the William D. Lynch Foundation matched the funds from the party at $6,250 and pledged to match up to $10,000 this year as well. When it was announced that the party had exceeded that mark, Mr. Lynch generously agreed to match the full amount, bringing the night’s total to $26,000.
The 2015-16 recipient of the annual Running Y Scholarship, Sophia Huteson attended the evening and thanked the donors personally for “truly making college possible for her.” She choked back tears as she told them her story of overcoming adversity which included her father being diagnosed with cancer her freshman year of high school. The experience of taking him to his cancer treatments inspired her to want to be a compassionate health care worker. Now in her senior year in the Echocardiography program at Oregon Tech, Sophia said that she is about to “achieve her dream because the people at the Running Y helped her and believed in her.”
The Running Y scholarship is awarded annually and designated to support a student who demonstrates that they have overcome a challenging home environment, adverse situation or hardship to achieve their educational goals. The donations from this year’s party and the match provides both the immediate funds for a worthy recipient and continues to build the endowment fund which now exceeds $38,000. When fully funded this will be an endowed scholarship that will support Oregon Tech students in perpetuity, the annual scholarship is in its fifth year of award.
More Support from Running Y Homeowners
Running Y residents invest in Oregon Tech and its innovative and deserving students through various means. They are avid Hustlin’Owls fans, readers for scholarship selection, Oregon Tech Foundation board members and the members of the President’s Advisory Council. Many who give to the Running Y Scholarship have also set up their own scholarships for various needs at the university. There are 15 scholarships totaling more than $30,000 per year that are funded either partially or solely by Running Y residents.
Enthusiastic fans, John and Lois Stilwell can be found at basketball and softball games throughout both seasons and they recently established a recruiting scholarship for softball. “We are true Oregon Tech Softball fans. Their excellent results locally and nationally has much to do with Coach Greg Stewart and his ability to attract and retain top student athletes. These young women have excellent character, athleticism and academic strength,” said John and Lois Stilwell. “We want to support the team and believe the softball scholarship will be awarded wisely and thoughtfully. It gives us personal satisfaction to help the Oregon Tech softball program and deserving student athletes.”
Chuck and Susan Cortesi had a similar idea when they approached the Oregon Tech Foundation about creating what they describe as a Golf Excellence Scholarship Fund. “The fund is designated to provide the golf coaches the means to bring top notch golf pros to Klamath Falls for clinics and camps. This allows the Oregon Tech coaches some competitiveness against other schools who may have the lure of better equipment and pros to improve their game,” said Dr. Cortesi. “This is an endowed fund for the entire team, which means Oregon Tech golf players and coaches will benefit from it for generations to come and that more than one student is impacted at the same time.”
John and Joan Staunton funded an endowed scholarship in 2002 and began an annual scholarship in 2014. Mrs. Staunton remarked, “The first scholarship was created right after the water crisis. We felt that Oregon Tech could help agriculture families and their children; we wanted to give Klamath Basin students a chance to achieve success. The annual scholarship came after I helped fundraise for the Center for Health Professions. I saw firsthand what great programs were taught there when my grandson graduated from the Medical Technician Program.”
In 2015-16 the Oregon Tech Foundation will award over $500,000 in scholarships to deserving students, helping each one get another step closer to achieving their degrees and their dreams. This milestone is possible through ordinary people, Klamath Basin residents, businesses and others who see a need or have an idea that they feel compelled to act upon. The Foundation applauds the giving spirit of all those that support the scholarship program and the Running Y homeowners for this year’s successful event, it truly is a “Party with a Purpose.”
The Oregon Tech Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and funds the educational, cultural, charitable, and service functions of the Oregon Institute of Technology.