BETHLEHEM Members of the scholarship committee at the Beverwyck Retirement Community in Bethlehem are no longer worried about the future.
“After reviewing this year’s applications, we feel it’s in good hands,” said Committee Chairwoman Lawrie Lierheimer.
For the past nine years, the residents of Beverwyck in Slingerlands have come together to donate money from their savings to a scholarship fund for local students who are also employees in the retirement community’s dining facility. Over the years, thousands of dollars have been raised, helping to pay for the higher education of dozens of local students.
For the first time, the retirement community came together to a hold a craft fair this year, with the proceeds going towards the fund. Some residents made quilts, others grew their own plants and sold them and one man who has an interest in photography turned some of his shots into notecards to be purchased.
This year, seven students from Bethlehem Central and Guilderland Central high schools received awards. Each will receive $5,000, divided evenly over the length of their college studies. Because the committee was only able to raise $22,000, some funds were used from the scholarship’s savings account in order to give a larger number of awards.
Lierheimer said committee members knew they had the option of giving fewer scholarships because of the lack of money, but residents had grown close with the students over the years and it was too hard to decide who would be chosen.
“We took a leap of faith,” said Lierheimer. “These folks are special and we had a little extra cushion, so we decided to go for it.”
Employees must apply for the scholarships, and the applications are reviewed by the committee. Applicants are asked to write a short essay about their time working at Beverwyck. They must also list other activities, including community service, sports and clubs, along with keeping at least a B average throughout high school.