Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland is once again lending a helping hand to young adults reaching for a college degree.
This year, $125,000 in scholarships were awarded to 29 students toward their college education for the coming school year.
The funds are a mix of Trinity Endowment funds, including the Ruby Legacy Scholarship Fund, Terry Lee Otey Scholarship fund and general Trinity Lutheran Church scholarships.
Hannah Benway of Coupeville was awarded the $10,000 Ruby Legacy Scholarship, which will be awarded for four years, totaling $40,000. There are currently four other students in various years of college receiving the scholarship, according to the church.
The Trinity Endowment fund was started 20 years ago by Steve Schrecengost, an active member of the parish.
“Steve was a character, and Steve had a vision,” Trinity Lutheran Pastor Jim Lindus said. “He dreamed of a day when Trinity would have an endowment fund.”
In order to jump start that vision, Steve and Cris Schrencengost made the first gift in 1999 of $3,000. The TLC Endowment Fund now totals just under $4 million.
Terry Otey was not a member of the church but thought outside the box and was not afraid to take a chance.
“It was his desire to make a difference in the lives of hardworking young students,” Lindus said. “He asked if I would be the executor of his estate. In addition, he wondered if I would help him to set up a scholarship fund through the TLC Endowment.”
The Ruby Scholarship Fund is named after a loving mother, a hard-working woman who believed in the importance of a good education, Lindus told his congregation in his weekly letter.
“She worked, saved and invested for her entire life,” he said. “When she died, her son and daughter-in-law decided that the money that she had left to them would be better used to support the next generation.”
Because of the vision and generosity of these three people, Lindus said, “the next generation is being blessed and inspired.”