Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church of Avon Park donated $1,500 toward the Sarah McDonald Endowed Scholarship overseen by the SFSC Foundation. The scholarship fund assists parishioners enrolled in South Florida State College.

From left: Marilyn Conroy, Jim Conroy, Jamie Bateman, and Rev. Nicholas McLaughlin at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.

From left: Marilyn Conroy, Jim Conroy, Jamie Bateman, and Rev. Nicholas McLoughlin at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church.

“Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church has had a longstanding relationship with the SFSC Foundation funding the Sarah McDonald Endowed Scholarship,” said Jamie Bateman, executive director for Institutional Advancement. “Each year, qualified students receive financial assistance to meet some of their educational costs. It is a partnership that ensures deserving students from our community get the chance to succeed by finishing college.”

Sarah McDonald, a former parishioner at the church that lies across from Avon Park High School, bequeathed a substantial sum to the parish. In 2009, parishioners set up the scholarship at the SFSC Foundation with an initial $10,000 endowment as a tribute to McDonald.

The scholarship benefits parishioners enrolled at least half time in any program–vocational or college credit– offered by SFSC.

“This year’s donation came from the proceeds of a golf tournament the parish organized at River Greens Golf Course that saw a record turnout,” said Jim Conroy, an Our Lady of Grace parishioner who helped organize the benefit tournament with his wife Marilyn. “Raising money to help students get through SFSC is a cause that’s important to the members of our parish.”

Applicants must show evidence of academic promise, with at least a 3.0 grade point average on high school or college work completed. Special consideration will be given to applicants older than 25 who need training to return to the workforce.

The Rev. Nicholas McLoughlin, pastor of Our Lady of Grace, said the parish compliments the scholarship with direct aid to parishioners who attend SFSC. This year the parish awarded $1,000 scholarships to 10 SFSC students to help meet the expense of attending classes.

For information or to apply, visit SFSC’s financial aid office or call 784-7134.