The Beta Sigma Phi sorority, Alpha Eta chapter, has raised enough money at their first-ever golf tournament to fund not one, but two, $5,000 scholarships for graduating Indian River High School seniors.
The sorority has established a memorial scholarship fund dedicated to fallen Lance Cpl. Russell White (an IR graduate). White died at Bagram Air Base, near Kabul, Afghanistan, in June 2004.
Family and friends have since set up a monument at the high school, commemorating White’s life and service, and the scholarships should encourage like honorable endeavors.
Sorority sister Lauren Grise said Alpha Eta was asking scholarship applicants to describe their community service to date, and how they intended to continue in service to their communities and country in the future. They need to submit a letter of recommendation with their application as well, according to Grise.
She said the sorority sisters had held long discussion concerning grades. While they are important, Grise said Alpha Eta didn’t plan to hold applicants to an Ivy League standard.
They must be accepted somewhere, though — the scholarship monies go directly to the college or university.
Grise said Indian River High School guidance counselors were on the hunt, but anyone who knows of (or is) a worthy candidate should pick up an application, and get it turned in by April 29.
All told, the sorority golf tournament raised $12,000 (after payouts), so they’re well on their way to a third scholarship. Grise said they planned to award another one every time they hit $5,000.
She said they couldn’t have done it without strong community support — more than 100 area businesses got involved.
She thanked the primary sponsors especially — A.P. Croll & Sons (asphalt and paving), Gulfstream Development and Seacoast Realty’s “Team Timmons.” In addition, she said the silent auction and 50/50 raffles had been great successes, and many of the winners had donated their tournament earnings back to the scholarship fund.
According to Grise, the sorority had been organizing the event since last summer, and the sisters now planned to take a little time off to celebrate the success. “I think we’ll focus on smaller service activities at this point,” she said.
Beta Sigma Phi isn’t like a college sorority — it was formed as a women’s social network during the Great Depression. By the 1940s, sorority sisters were supporting the sale of World War II war bonds, and they have continued that tradition of civic involvement ever since.