To date 616 students have benefited from Cotillion Scholarships, receiving a total of $434,200.
Concept Born: Founders Sandie Beihl, Sally Carpenter and Vikki Crouch frequently discussed community concerns. In 1984 their conversation turned to how outstanding youth in the community could be encouraged and recognized for doing the right things and making the right choices. From this modest discussion the seeds of the organization grew.
First Steps: Their first idea was to create a recognition for young people using a debutante ball format. However, in researching the possibility the threesome decided their idea needed some tweaking.
Ideas Modified: The next idea was to provide a combination gala event to honor youth and at the same time raise monies to benefit the arts in the community.
Finally, after months of discussion and gathering advice from community leaders, Sandie, Sally and Vikki worked with Gene Teeter (a high school counselor) to create the scholarship benefit organization it is today.
Support Grew: The three founders spent many hours holding information gathering meetings, from informal coffees to appointments with business leaders. During this long, deliberate process the community became aware of the concept and realized the need and importance of such a program.
First Donors: Bill Hurley and David Bradley were the two donors that provided seed money for the first Cotillion for Achievement in the spring of 1986. Hannah Ford and Rosalie Richmond graciously served as the first honorary chairs of the event, helping attract additional contributions.
Succeeding Years: Each year the community interest and support have grown. From the three founders, the board of volunteers has grown to 30 people serving as officers and committee members. In addition a group of 26 past presidents serve as advisors. It is important to note that the organization has no paid staff, and is maintained and supported by volunteers.
From a simple idea, the “planted seed” has grown and flourished into a program benefiting many. Founders say, “Our Lord put us in touch with the right people and encouraged their hearts to support our youth in this endeavor.”
Scholarships Increased: During the 31 years of awarding scholarships, generous donations from the community have allowed the scholarship amounts to gradually increase. Below is the increase timeline….
1986-87: $1,250 x 2 students; $100 x 19 students
1988-89: $1,500 x 2 students; $200 x 18 students
1990-92: $1,500 x 2 students; $300 x 18 students
1993-94: $1,500 x 2 students; $500 x 18 students
1995-98: $1,500 x 2 students; $600 x 18 students
1999-2016: $1,800 x 2 students; $700 x 18 students
2017: $1,800 x 2 students; $900 x 14 students
Copyright © Cotillion for Achievement 2017