2019 Dollars for Scholars Affiliate of the Year: Dracut Scholarship Foundation
By Claire Berge Schmidt
Congratulations to Dracut Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars for being selected as the 2019 Dollars for Scholars Affiliate of the Year! Dracut will receive $2,000 to award as a scholarship, as well honored at the 2020 Dreams to Success Celebration in Washington, DC on May 7, 2020.
“Dracut is so proud of all of the work we do every year, like our successful telethon and craft fair. Other surrounding towns are amazed that such a small town like Dracut can raise so much money and gain so much support from local businesses. This award validates our success,” said chapter president Linda Miller.
The Dracut Scholarship Foundation established 60 years ago and affiliated with Scholarship America’s Dollars for Scholars program in 1986. Past president and Fundraising Committee member, Glenn Mello, has served on the board for 25 years and was thrilled to learn they would be honored by Scholarship America.
“It’s great to know we’ve come so far. Those board members who started the foundation and served diligently for 20 or 30 years or more can be proud to see that we are continuing to build on their efforts,” said Mello.
The organization set a goal to expand their fundraising endeavors through marketing and increased community engagement. Board members visited businesses within the town of Dracut and secured 30 new sponsors. In addition, 40 new businesses donated items for the annual telethon they’ve hosted for the past 36 years.
This was a win-win for Dracut Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars as well as the businesses that supported them as the telethon received media coverage from a variety of local news outlets. The coverage also helped Dracut garner new board members. Previously they had three openings for board membership and within three days, they received at least six new applications.
The ultimate winners, however, are the students of Dracut. With over $40,000 in telethon sponsorships, they were able to award even larger scholarships than in years past. This year’s top student received a $4,000 scholarship and 66 others received scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $3,500 for a total of $148,000 in scholarship awards!
The Dracut Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars board of directors aims to build upon the success of their fundraisers and increase the amount raised each year so that they can continue to provide impactful scholarships. As Miller said, “It helps to make the goal of quality education affordable in the community and is an important way for the community to invest in the future.”