|Albert A. Bennett Jr. and Sue Bennett|
The late Mr. Bennett’s wife, Sue Bennett, established the scholarship in his memory to provide higher education opportunities to hard-working Otto-Eldred students.
The fund will help make possible a $500 annual scholarship for an Otto-Eldred graduate pursuing a degree at either a 2- or 4-year college. The recipient should demonstrate academic excellence, involvement in extracurricular activities and strong educational/career goals.
Mrs. Bennett said she’d been considering establishing this scholarship to remember her husband for quite some time.
“It’s been on my mind since I started making donations [to the Otto-Eldred Alumni Association Scholarship Fund at CRCF],” said Mrs. Bennett.
For Mrs. Bennett, supporting Otto-Eldred students pursuing higher education was the perfect way to remember her husband, who passed away in 2001 after battling cancer.
“Education is very valuable, and it’s important to our family,” said Bennett, whose four children are all Otto-Eldred alumni and college graduates. Her grandchildren are also pursuing secondary education and currently attending Penn State Erie Behrend College, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Alfred University and The George Washington University.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, both natives of Duke Center, graduated from Otto-Eldred in 1958, soon after the merger of the Otto and Eldred districts.
Mrs. Bennett and her sons, Gregg, Eric and David Bennett, and her daughter, Amy Skinner, will review applications and choose a recipient together.
The sense of family that resonates from the fund extends to the community it will serve.
“It’s a very close, tight-knit community” she said of Otto-Eldred.
A testament to this sense of community, the fund is one of two new scholarships being set up at CRCF to benefit Otto-Eldred graduates in 2017.
“Mrs. Bennett and her family are very committed and loyal to Otto-Eldred and their generosity through this scholarship demonstrates that in a unique way,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “I know that it means a lot to them to remember their husband and father with this scholarship fund.”
“Al really would have wanted this,” said Mrs. Bennett, remembering her husband with a smile. The scholarship will no doubt put a similar smile on the face of many Otto-Eldred graduates to come.
Donations can be made to the Albert A. Bennett Jr. Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundtion.org.
Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).