Transition to Allamakee Scholarship Fund from former Allamakee Dollars for Scholars noticeable in name only

A program with the focus of helping Waukon High School students "reach for and achieve their educational goals" for the past 20-plus years is undergoing a name change, but will remain true to its commitment and further enhance that mission with a more local approach.
The organization formerly known as Allamakee Dollars for Scholars, Inc. is now carrying out its mission under a new name, Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc., after members of the organization's volunteer board of directors put the wheels in motion this past year to localize the administrative control of the organization in an effort to better serve those they are focused on providing help to. Since its inception in 1993, the organization had been affiliated with Scholarship America, the nation's largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization, but new administrative guidelines instituted by Scholarship America resulted in local board members weighing the positives and negatives of those new guidelines in regard to what the local scholarship chapter has been working toward accomplishing.
"Among other things, there were some changes in how they wanted students to fill out scholarships that seemed very technical and impacted their anonymity and how we use that in our scholarship selection process," explained Julie Rotach, President of Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc. "We also figured that the fees that we were paying Scholarship America to administer our program amounted to at least a couple more scholarships that we could be giving to help students further their education."
Having initially implemented such guidelines, and then weighing the above and other involved factors against the requirements of localizing administration of the group's well-established scholarship program, the local board of 15 members began the process of separating itself from Scholarship America and establishing itself as a locally-controlled organization operated solely through volunteer efforts. That parting of ways with Scholarship America resulted in the local group no longer having the option of using "Dollars for Scholars" within its organizational name, as that term is solely affiliated with the Scholarship America organization. The newly-named Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc. is also in the process of finalizing its own 501c3 tax status in order to make donations to the program tax-deductible.

The entire process of assessing, deciding and now implementing the transition to become Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc. has consumed more than a year's time, but it was not a move that board members wanted to make without full consideration. "We took our time with it and made sure it was the right move; we sought advice from legal and financial professionals and came to the conclusion that this was what was best for everyone involved," Rotach shared.
Despite the time and process involved with the change, the board wants to make sure that what is unmistakably understood by the general public is the fact that there will be very little, if any, noticeable change in how the scholarship program functions for both the donors who make it possible and the students who ultimately benefit from the program. "Operationally, very little will change as we transition to Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc.," said Mary Jo Goodman, Vice President of the local organization. "We will continue to make local decisions as the same volunteer board of directors. We will continue to fund scholarships to Waukon High School graduates who apply for and qualify for funding. We will continue to raise funds locally through events such as our phone-a-thon, and we will continue to work with local businesses, organizations and families on named scholarships. The only change the general public will notice is the name change to Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc."

Since the beginning of the local scholarship program in 1993, a total of 1,345 Waukon High School graduates have been awarded $757,085 in scholarships through the generosity of area individuals, businesses and community organizations. The efforts of the local volunteer board of directors also earned the organization recognition as the 2010 Iowa Chapter of the Year by the Iowa Dollars for Scholars organization, as well as an Iowa Governor's Volunteer Service Award in July of 2010.
That local volunteer board consisting of Rotach, Goodman, Kris Fahey, Colleen Gragg, Steve Grotegut, Kathy Hay, Cindy Heffern, Maynard Johnson, Sandy Lyons, Amy McCormick, Teresa Myers, Karen Regan, Allan Rissman, Amy Wasson and Kim Winters is committed to continuing its same purpose of helping local high school students further their educational plans by assisting in funding their post-secondary education pursuits. "We plan to continue to encourage local students to reach for and achieve their educational goals," Goodman remarked. "We appreciate all the community support in the past and look forward to providing the same support to future graduates of Waukon High School."
For additional information on the transition to Allamakee Scholarship Fund, Inc. or how to provide further assistance to the organization or its mission to support students of Waukon High School, contact any of the board members listed above.