A few years ago Barb Butler Surine passed away. She was a l-o-n-g time member at Southside. Barb was a dedicated and faithful member, present at every service. She had a great love for Southside. In her will she left about $55,000 to the church to be used for scholarships for our young people who wanted to go to college. She left no instructions as to how to distribute the money, but left it up to the discretion of the elders. We worked out a system where students can start earning scholarship money each year beginning in the 7th grade based on their participation – attendance at services and youth events. This is the third year we have had the program. Students may earn $200-$400 each year. If they do this from the 7th grade through high school, they potentially will receive a scholarship between $1200-$2000, when they graduate – depending on how much money is available.
The money was invested in the Capital Region Community Foundation in Lansing, Michigan. Last year the fund produced $1964.00 in scholarship money. The most recent report, which comes out in March each year, shows the fund produced $2098.00 for this year. Thus, the fund has generated over $4000 in two years. The church has been able to add to this through various contributions and we have over $6000 in a scholarship pool from which we can pay scholarships to graduating seniors who go on to higher education. It is not a lot of money, but a good beginning to a program we hope will grow. We have several who will be graduating this year and will be presenting checks to them based on their participation in the near future.
It’s a unique and special program. Going to college I remember it was nice to have any kind of free money from any source!!!