Community builds La Conner scholarship fund
August 16, 2023
The foundation board would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the people and organizations in the community that have given us the means to award scholarships each year at La Conner High School.
We are pleased to share that the general foundation fund has grown to $1,100,000. This endowment was created solely by the generosity of you folks in the community. Many alumni have given one dollar for every year post-graduation. Many of our neighbors from Shelter Bay, past graduates and community members at large have made us what we are today.
In addition to cash donations, our foundation accepts estate gifts, as well as stocks, bonds and IRAs. Some examples of these generous donations include a community member who gifted a $15,000 IRA he no longer needed.
The McMillan family owned the San Juan cannery at the south end of town decades ago. Upon her passing, Lea McMillan Diacos gifted $1.6 million through her estate. She had discussed her desire to do something for the young generation of the community with Gail Thulen and the late Corky Cornwall, though the specifics remained unknown at the time.
Ken Knopf, who was active in the community service clubs and was a board member for years, also generously supported the foundation. Ken provided donations and he also set up an endowment when his wife passed away. Ken's daughters notified the foundation when Ken passed to share that he had gifted us through his estate too. His endowment is currently $225,000.
Beverly Erickson gifted us a portion of her estate. She had roots in the area and was part of the Cornelius family, who used to farm adjacent to Pleasant Ridge. Her endowment is currently $122,000.
We keep each endowment separate and award scholarships for each endowment and disburse only our earnings. Our total value of all the accounts is $3.2 million.
All the local service organizations: Kiwanis, Rotary, La Conner Alumni Association, various businesses and the Swinomish Tribe have been a pleasure to work with. There are other donors and organizations as well, too many to list. We as a board continue to be thankful for their contributions.
We are a 501c3 tax exempt organization recognized by the IRS and currently have a fund drive campaign going on until November. In an effort to motivate donors, a very generous alum recently told the board, "If you can raise $50,000 dollars, I will match it!"
So, for every dollar you donate, it will be matched by this awesome individual. Some businesses do match also. If you are with a company that does the matching to a 501c3, that is also a terrific way to gift.
Our website is laconner.dollarsforscholars.org. You can donate using PayPal, Venmo and Ziffy. You can also donate by sending checks to La Conner Community Scholarship Foundation Box 1277 La Conner, WA 98257.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us!
Jensen is a fourth-generation family of La Conner and LCHS class of 1974.