Perpetual Scholarships Honor Commitments to Education
Thanks to the support of individuals and organizations with a commitment to education, future generations of Indian River County students will benefit from perpetual scholarships established through Scholarship Foundation over it's more than 50-year history. Perpetual awards are the lifeblood of Scholarship Foundation' efforts to put college within reach of deserving Indian River County students faced with ever rising costs of education. They are the cornerstone on which we build award packages for each year's class of recipients. Here are some examples of perpetual awards.
The Kenneth H. McKnight Memorial Scholarship was established in 2010 in memory of Vero Beach resident Kenneth H. McKnight, who passed away in 2008 leaving a bequest to our organization. Mr. McKnight received a BA from Bentley College in Boston and spent his business career with The School and College Book Company where he was a top salesman. He retired to Vero Beach in 1993, where he was known among his friends as a "man of constant gentility and kindness."
The Morris A. "Darby Gibbons" Memorial Scholarship was established in 2009 to honor Darby Gibbons' lifelong commitment to education and his 11-year service to our organization. Gibbons, 60, former St. Edward's teacher, college counselor and academic dean, died in January, 2010 after an 18-month battle with cancer. This award was funded through the generous memorial donations contributed on Gibbon's passing by family and friends, as well as the proceeds from the "TieBration" event held in February, 2010 to celebrate his life and raise funds for this award. Read More
The Indian River Blood Bank Scholarship in Memory of Marian L. Block is named after Mrs. Marian Block, the matriarch of the Block family that has done so much to further philanthropy, health care and education in Indian River County. Mrs. Block, who was known to be a resourceful, enthusiastic and competitive woman, founded the Indian River Blood Bank to meet a crucial need in our area's health care services. Upon her death, the Marian Block Memorial Scholarship was established and funded annually by the Board of the Blood Bank. Mrs. Block gave her blood, sweat and tears to the organization, but she knew that one day after she was not present at the helm, the plan for managing that organization might change. She provided that, if the Bank was ever sold or disbanded, its assets would go to a worthy local charitable organization. Scholarship Foundation was the beneficiary of those funds this year when the bank was purchased. The Marian Block Memorial Scholarship will provide a $4,500 per year, 4-year award each year to help students pursuing a career in a health-related field.
The Indian River Blood Bank Scholarship In Honor of Samuel A. Block was also funded through the proceeds of the sale of the Blood Bank in 2008. The son of Marian Block, Sam Block has served on the Board of Directors of Scholarship Foundation since 1973 and was the group's President for nearly 15 years. A local attorney who many trust with their estate planning needs, Sam has been instrumental in helping Scholarship Foundation grow its ability to award scholarship opportunities to deserving local students. He also served as the attorney for the Blood Bank for many years and donated hundreds of hours of legal services to the agency. To honor his immeasurable contribution to the community, this award will provide a $4,500 per year, 4-year award each year for students pursuing a legal career.
The Jay Sibson Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of a Vero Beach High School graduate who was killed in an auto accident in 1983 while still a college-bound student. Since his death, the Sibson family has awarded scholarships to local students funded by a trust established on Jay's death with funds set aside for his college education. Wanting to ensure that awards would be given long after family members were able to operate a selection committee and administer the trust, Mrs. Sally Sibson donated the funds to our organization. This year the first awards were given to four students to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Jay's death. Through the Sibson family's generosity, each year going forward, one new college-bound graduate will be awarded a $3,500 per year, 4-year scholarship.
The Mary Hope Smathers Memorial Scholarship is named after a lady well-known and well-loved by Vero Beach High School alumni. Mrs. Smathers taught social studies for decades and believed so deeply in education that she wanted to leave that as her legacy. Mrs. Smathers' generosity will provide up to $12,000 in scholarship funding each year in her name. In life Mrs. Smathers gave students the tools in the classroom that they needed to go forward and be good citizens of the country and the world. In death, she has given students for years to come the resources they need to become better-educated citizens. Surely many of these students, touched by "Hope" through her life or death, will truly make a difference in the world, as did Mrs. Smathers.
The inaugural Morris A. "Darby" Gibbons Memorial Scholarship was presented to Shannon Staunton in 2009 by Darby's sister Gloria (left) and his wife Patti (right)
Samuel Block (left) and Katy Block (right) with 2008 recipients of the new Indian River Blood Bank Scholarships
Board Member Gaye Ludwig (center) with 2008 recipients of the new Jay Sibson Scholarship
Recipients of the Mary Hope Smathers Memorial Scholarship with Board Member Samuel Block