‘Her Giving Spirit’

Scholarship Created For Healthcare Education

Mary LaRowe’s friends and family recently created a scholarship in her name to support students pursuing studies in healthcare. Submitted photo

A surprise gift led to the creation of a new scholarship fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to support students focusing on healthcare.

Last summer, a group of individuals who spend their summers on Chautauqua Lake, wanted to surprise Mary LaRowe, a full-time northern Chautauqua County resident, to thank her for her dedication to serving others in the community and celebrate her birthday.

“We have been Mary’s neighbors for about 14 years,” said Debbie McNaull. “She is always taking care of everyone and it is her giving spirit that prompted us to create a scholarship in her name that would keep giving back to her community for years to come.”

While LaRowe was surprised to learn a scholarship had been created in her name, and fully funded to begin making awards this year, the biggest surprise was that LaRowe was to determine the fund’s criteria.

“Because of the generosity of family and friends, this scholarship allows me to give back to my community,” LaRowe said.

After some thoughtful consideration, LaRowe decided that the fund should assist Chautauqua County students, residing north of Bemus Point, to achieve a license, certificate, diploma or degree in the healthcare field. Priority will be given to students who are employees of Brooks-TLC Hospital System or Kaleida Health, opening the scholarship to more than just traditional college students.

“It is heartening that we will be able to support the career path of future healthcare providers and leaders who are just starting their educational journey into healthcare, or those who are transitioning into the healthcare field from other industries,” she said.

For more than 30 years, LaRowe has worked in healthcare, including 25 years in administration and leadership. In 2016 she was named CEO of Brooks Memorial Hospital and oversaw the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network.

Today, she is the President and CEO of Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc.

“My career path was non-traditional and I believe that is a good thing,” she said. “The healthcare path I selected offered many options and opportunities along the way. I want others to have similar choices and be able to experience the eventful, fulfilling, and rewarding benefits that a healthcare career offers,” LaRowe explained.

Applications for the Community Foundation’s scholarship process will be available starting April 15 at crcfonline.org. By completing the application, students will be eligible for The Mary LaRowe Scholarship, as well as, hundreds of other scholarships the Foundation administers.

For more information, contact the Foundation at 661-3390.


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