INVESTING IN YOUTH IS THIS CLUB’S PASSION
In 1952, the Exchange Club of Vero Beach began selling Christmas trees to raise money for charitable purposes. In 1958, the Club awarded two scholarships of $400 each to graduating students at Vero Beach High School. The program has continued to grow so that in the past 35 years, 388 scholarships totaling $545,250 have been awarded. It is a record that is unequalled by any other civic club in the community and one for which Club members can be immensely proud.
For over 59 years the Exchange Club of Vero Beach has been awarding scholarships to students in our community because it believes that the promotion of educational achievement of the nation’s youth is a worthy pursuit. As college costs have soared, scholarship aid is needed now more than ever so that deserving and talented students will have the opportunity to attend the college of their choice.
In 1990 the Club created a tax deductible 501(c)(3) foundation to perpetuate the Scholarship Program. The Exchange Club of Vero Beach Scholarship Foundation Trust’s objective is to accumulate sufficient assets to generate annual income that can partially or fully fund the scholarships needed for students. The Club contributed $20,000 in the first two years to begin the Trust fund. Slowly, the fund grew with contributions from individual members and donors outside of the Club.
In 1998, an anonymous donor pledged a matching challenge grant of $10,000 for the Foundation. The Club was more than able to meet the challenge by raising $13,000 through individual member donations and other fund raising activities. Presently, Foundation assets are nearly $600,000, thanks to an increase in the number of members and individuals outside the Club who have donated cash or securities to the Foundation.
One way to contribute to the Trust is by making a memorial contribution. The Trust Fund Board’s policy states that anyone who contributes $30,000 or more to the Trust Fund can have a scholarship named after them or whomever they designate.
In November, 2000, the Foundation announced the creation of the William C. Wodtke, Jr. Scholarship in recognition of his outstanding service to Exchange, both nationally as Past President of National Exchange Club and as Past Chairman of the National Exchange Club Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and for his many years of dedicated community service in Indian River County. In awarding this scholarship each year, special consideration is given to students who have provided exemplary community service in accordance with the Exchange motto, “Unity for Service”.
Other named scholarships include the George and Arlene Foote Scholarship, the Louise E. Taylor Scholarship, the Ethel Kerns Scholarship, the Bedford and Fannie McAfee Scholarship, the Terrill Newnan Scholarship, the Col. John G. Taylor, Jr. Scholarship and the Catherine (Kay) Wodtke Trent Scholarship. The Newnan Scholarship recognizes someone who, in addition to the other criteria, is an outstanding athlete and well regarded by his peers. The Foote Scholarship recognizes someone who, in addition to the other criteria, has excelled in their studies in spite of having to overcoming serious obstacles.
Many students have benefited from the scholarship program in the past. It is gratifying to note that leaders in the Club have taken the necessary steps to assure that funds will be available in the future to deserving students. Club members are investing in the future in a significant way, and it is an investment that will generate far more return to our community and nation than what we can ever put into it.
For more information about the Scholarship Foundation Trust contact Dr. Jack McAfee, Chairman, by email at email@example.com. Individuals interested in contributing can send a check made out to the Exchange Club of Vero Beach Scholarship Foundation Trust, P.O. Box 1982, Vero Beach 32961.