Calling the Fulton Colleges Fund, “an investment in the future of Callaway County,” organizers will kick off the fund’s 36th annual drive Tuesday, Sept. 9, with an 8 a.m. breakfast for volunteers in the Aldridge Recreation Center of William Woods University.
In a show of support for higher education in the community, volunteers will once again call on area businesses and individuals for contributions. Funds raised are divided equally between Westminster College and William Woods.
Last year, more than $58,000 was raised. The goal this year is $60,000.
The Fulton Colleges Fund Drive, which began in 1967, provides financial support for both of the schools and helps fund scholarships for outstanding Callaway County students to attend Westminster and William Woods.
William Woods University students currently receiving scholarships through the Fulton Colleges Fund are Kristin Bailey, Troy Boulware, Ginger Hilpipre, Molly McTaggart, Megan Means, Tonia Nelson, Levi Williams and Alisha Woods.
Scholarship recipients at Westminster College are Harvey “Bo” Clapp, Stephen Hoell, Michelle Latty, Naomi Messer, Alaina Oestreich, Derek Ratcliff, Jenna Smith and Daniel Toosley.
Sponsored by the Fulton Board of Associates, the drive has raised more than $1 million in the past 36 years. Each year, the board invites a local business, individual or organization to offer a $2,500 challenge grant to match increases over the previous year. This year Dick Davis and Border Enterprises will provide the challenge grant.
Davis said he was proud to offer the challenge grant to assist the Fulton Colleges Fund drive.
“One of the many pleasures of growing up and living in Fulton and Callaway County is having the presence of these wonderful institutions in our community,” Davis said. “The support by our community for both William Woods University and Westminster College demonstrates how highly we value their presence.”
Davis said contributions through the Fulton Colleges Fund help the local colleges “continue to thrive and be a major part of the fiber of our community.”
Bruce Hackmann of the Fulton Area Development Corporation is president of the Fulton Board of Associates. He hopes the example set by Davis will inspire others to contribute generously to the drive.
Hackmann cited the support of the community as being a critical factor in the decisions by both colleges to choose Fulton as their home more than a century ago.
“The Fulton Colleges Fund is our opportunity to honor this legacy and show once again, in a very tangible way, how much we appreciate and respect what Westminster College and William Woods University bring to the educational, economic and cultural vitality of this region,” he said.
Approximately 100 volunteers will make solicitations during the four-day drive. Results will be reported during a luncheon Friday, Sept. 12, at Robertson Dining Hall on the Westminster College campus.
Individuals or businesses not contacted by volunteers can make a donation by contacting either school. Call Brenda Foster at William Woods, 592-4219, or Kathy Richey at Westminster, 592-5370.