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Springfield Scholarship club scoops up funds for students

Whitney Oaks senior group donates $12,000 in scholarship money to Rocklin’s three high schools
By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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It all started with a small group of sports enthusiasts. They made an effort to watch the basketball games at Rocklin High and came up with the idea of starting a scholarship club for local youth. Now, nine years later, the group has raised more than $45,000 that has made college a little more affordable for high school students. The Springfield Scholarship Club consists of approximately 20 members who gather monthly to talk scholarships. Club members are residents of Springfield Whitney Oaks, an active 55 and older community in Rocklin, and who are devoted to raising funds for local high school seniors. This year, the group will donate more than $12,000 to Rocklin, Whitney and Victory high schools — the most they have raised since the club’s start. Lu Ah Nee, chairwoman for the club, said two of the club’s largest fundraisers are the ice cream social and a new addition, the pancake breakfast. This year’s ice cream social raised approximately $2,700, and more than $3,000 was raised at the pancake breakfast. Throughout the year, group members also raise funds by selling entertainment books, t-shirts, calendars and other fundraising efforts, Ah Nee said. Cindy Cutts, with the Rocklin High career and counseling center, said it’s amazing to see scholarship groups like Springfield’s club that donate during such a tough economic climate. At Rocklin High, more money was donated this year for scholarships than last year. “That speaks volumes about this community and that they value the kids,” Cutts said. “We’re very fortunate our community is so active.” Cutts estimated 25 percent of graduating seniors receive some type of assist-a-grad scholarship from local businesses, groups and people. About $30,000 has been donated to Rocklin High in assist-a-grad scholarships for this year, Cutts said. At Springfield, their donation will fund four $2,500 scholarships each at Whitney and Rocklin high schools as well as a $250 scholarship to a student at Victory High School. “We raise the money and we give it out,” Ah Nee said. In addition to raising the money, a group of club members are looking over the more than 90 applications to narrow it down to the final nine recipients. They’ve devised a scoring sheet based on SAT scores, community service, awards and other areas. “We want a well-rounded student,” Ah Nee said. The scholarship recipients will be announced at the awards ceremonies to be held later this month and into June at the high schools. The money is meant to assist with tuition or purchasing textbooks, but it also serves another purpose – it’s a way to give back to the community of Rocklin. “We get more out of this than we give,” Ah Nee said. “When you go to that awards ceremony, it makes you feel so good to know that you’re helping a young person further their education. This is a wonderful community. It always rallies to good causes. Always.” For businesses, groups or residents interested in donating money for an assist-a-grad scholarship, contact Cindy Cutts at 632-1600 ext. 424 or ccutts@rocklin.k12.ca.us.