Thanks to the generosity of a national insurance agency, a new local scholarship now has the seed money to get off the ground.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and its Buffalo-based agency Alliance Advisory Group, has donated $10,000 to the Marianne Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund to assist future area nursing students.
The scholarship was established in April in honor of Marianne Carpenter, a Randolph resident and mother of four who passed away from cancer last year while enrolled in the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES School of Nursing. The criteria under which a student can receive the scholarship is that they must be a parent enrolled in the BOCES nursing school.
A check in the amount of $10,000 is presented to the Marianne Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund on behalf of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America outside the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation this week. Pictured, from left, are: Tom Wade, Alliance Advisory Group special agent; Michael Carpenter, Randolph resident and husband of Marianne Carpenter; Michelle Anderson and Johana McFaul, representing the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES School of Nursing; and Randy Sweeney, executive director of the Community Foundation.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
Although she was unable to complete her coursework, Carpenter's classmates wanted to do something to honor her memory while benefiting future nursing students. Subsequently, members of the School of Nursing created the scholarship through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
This week, representatives of the three entities involved in the donation toward the scholarship - along with Carpenter's husband, Mike - converged at the Community Foundation to discuss the gift and present it in check form. Participating in the occasion were: Tom Wade and Bob Johnson, representing the Jamestown branch of Alliance Advisory Group; Randy Sweeney and Bev Lubi, representing the Community Foundation; and Michelle Anderson and Johana McFaul, representing the BOCES School of Nursing.
Anderson said the seed money provided by Alliance will not only help to ensure that future students who meet the criteria of the scholarship can receive the benefits of a higher education, but will more firmly establish the legacy Carpenter left behind at the BOCES School of Nursing.
"This is significant for us because it means now the scholarship will be viable, and we can begin to disperse funds toward the education of future nurses," Anderson said.
The money for the donation came about through Guardian's commitment toward making a singular annual donation to the preferred charity of one of its clients. After hearing Michael Carpenter's story, Guardian offered the donation to the charity of his choice, which was the Marianne Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund.
"One of the reasons I wanted this scholarship created is because a lot of times when people do fundraising it goes to research," Michael said. "They never raise money for caregivers and the people that need it. How much money do we put toward research, and how far have we gotten? When (Marianne) was going through her treatments, we saw nurses all day long. We didn't see researchers."
Wade, who is the Alliance insurance agent of the Carpenter family, said Guardian's donation is significant in the sense that a national insurance agency is recognizing a client in one of its most rural territories.
"Our thought locally is that it's an honor to have been selected nationally for this donation," Wade said, indicating that he was expecting a smaller donation of between $500 and $1,000. "We really appreciate Guardian's involvement, but then also going the extra mile with a strong financial gift."
Sweeney, executive director of the Community Foundation, spoke to the community impact the donation will have on the surrounding area.
"This is going to be a huge benefit to our community," he said. "We're no different here in the Jamestown and Randolph area than anywhere else in that we have a shortage of those involved in the medical profession. We need nurses, and we need them desperately. And, as Marianne wanted to be a nurse and to serve the community and people she knew and loved in this region, this scholarship is going to help that continue on."
To learn more about the Marianne Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund, or to make a donation, call the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at 661-3390 or visit www.crcfonline.org.