By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The Palisades Optimist Foundation is seeking donations to aid in fundraising efforts to deliver scholarships to college-bound seniors at Palisades Charter High School.
This year, the Optimist Foundation, which is affiliated but separate from the Palisades Optimist Club, received a total of 10 applications from “a great group of students,” according to Board Member Richard Wilken, marking a record number of applications.
“For the last two years, we have given $2,000 to six outstanding, college-bound Pali High students,” Wilken, a member of the Pali High Class of 1964, shared. “Even though our fundraising efforts are a little behind past years, we felt it was important to maintain the going pace of $12,000.”
The Palisades Optimist Foundation was formed in 1989 to give the community a place to donate money in support of local schools. Its primary focus is to award seniors with scholarships.
“Our criteria are simple: financial need, academic improvement, good character and the ability to overcome obstacles,” a representative shared with the Palisadian-Post in late 2020. “We also support a special fund, which is administered by the College Center for students who may need help buying college supplies.”
This year, the foundation, instead of sending the scholarship money directly to the college of the student’s choice, opted to give each student a $500 check at graduation to aid with paying for college-related incidentals. The remaining $1,500 was sent to the college, which will cover a portion of their educational and housing expenses.
“Because of COVID, we are a little behind on raising money,” Palisades Optimist Foundation President Don Scott shared. “We are now ‘passing the hat’ in hopes we can raise at least another $3,750 from the community as we did last year.”
Three local Realtors, Michael Edlen, Anthony Marguleas and Marco Rufo, have given a total of $4,000 to support the cause.
Community members who wish to donate can do so by visiting palisadesoptimistfoundation.org/donate or by mail to PO Box 242, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Donations are tax deductible.
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