With new directors on board the local Dollars for Scholars chapter is kicking off its 2017 fundraising drive with a new focus on accountability.
“The main goal right now is to be as transparent and organized as we can,” said Fern Peltier, who replaced Linda Hughes as treasurer this year. Steve O’Neill remains president of the chapter with Vicki Robertson as secretary and Pam Sarkissian and Brian Calder as board members.
Peltier said she had stepped up to take over the volunteer role because of frustration with delayed awards and lack of donor recognition. “It seemed to me a lot of things were not being done right. It wasn’t being run the way a nonprofit should be run,” she said.
Earlier this year Hughes acknowledged that she and other board members had been facing “very serious personal issues” that had led to “unfinished business.”
Peltier said she had started identifying gaps in financial records and getting missing documentation from the bank. “Now that I have it all organized there should be no more misinformation or mis-documentation going forward,” she said. Scholarship America, the national organization, does not audit local chapters books, but Peltier said the board would be moving forward with an audit of the organization’s finances since 2012, the year after founder Davea Fisher stepped down.
Peltier said she was also working on adding information to the chapter website acknowledging donors and recognizing scholarship recipients. “It’s important the community knows where the money is coming from and where it went to,” she said. “Everyone will see exactly who got the money and who the donors are.”
Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars has raised approximately $200,000 for local post-secondary students since it was founded over 20 years ago. Board members are all volunteers and 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to scholarships.
“Currently embarking on the 2017 fundraising drive, your board continues to believe our greatest community asset is that of the future of our young people,” Peltier wrote in a press release.
Students are also encouraged to apply at pointroberts.dollarsforscholars.org. Applications, to be completed online, are due May 14 and are not needs-based.
How to donate:
Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars
P.O. Box 1354
Point Roberts, WA 98281
In person: Umpqua Bank
Shopping online: Use Amazon Smile and select Scholarship America, Point Roberts, WA as your charity. They will donate 0.5 percent of eligible purchases.
Donate online: Through a fund-me page at bit.ly/2o1bOHj
Loose change: Bring your coins to Umpqua Bank for donation.
The following are excerpts from thank you notes received by Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars
This scholarship will allow me to pursue my dream of obtaining my degree in history and education, with a goal of teaching high school history. Thank you. Alexandria Szabo
It will definitely help to put towards student loans I have taken during law school at UBC – I graduate this summer. Thank you very much Aliya Laird
I am a public health major with an emphasis on community. After graduating from Fresno State, I’m applying to medical school. Thank you. Alex Peltier
I will graduate in 2019 from UBC with a BA degree in Psychology. I hope to become a psychologist, or have a job focused on mental health. Thank you. Sarah Vaughan-Jones
I am attending the University of Calgary, beginning my third year this September. When I graduate from the Haskayne School of Business, I will be receiving my Bachelor of Commerce degree with a concentration in Real Estate Studies. My goal one day is to own a commercial or real estate development company, building for the future. Thank you. Bo Glaser
I am attending the University of Washington and beginning my second year this September. My goal is to graduate in June 2020 with a BS in biochemistry and with that I hope to attend medical school to pursue my passion in the health sciences. Thank you. Charlie Glaser