New Endowment Gift Bolsters NV Scholarship Foundation, Shows Faith in Program

New Endowment Gift Bolsters NV Scholarship Foundation, Shows Faith in Program
NV Media

The Nooksack Valley Scholarship Foundation's 24-year history has had a few key points. The recent endowment gift by 1973 Nooksack Valley High School graduate Greg Saar just provided the fund its latest marker. 

The gift becomes an immediate endowment for the fund, allowing the NVSF to invest the donation for permanent retainment, using the annual earnings from the investment to fund scholarships to a diverse mix of Nooksack Valley students. 

"I want to do whatever I can do to help the foundation," Saar says. "I think a lot of kids could have done better in life if they would have had more opportunities. Some of those opportunities depend on them and some of them depend on what people can and can't do for them. I'm trying to make the world better one person at a time by putting some resources to it." The initial gift from Saar now makes up over 25% of the entire permanent endowed balance of the Nooksack Valley Scholarship Foundation.

Saar, who attended Nooksack Valley for his entire first grade through high school career—it was before NV had kindergarten, he remembers—found success in business, partly thanks to an early work-study program at Nooksack Valley High School his senior year. Now living in south Puget Sound, Saar has never forgotten how his teachers and the district gave him a chance to get started. He wants other students to have that same opportunity and so has opened his scholarship gift to students who plan to attend everything from a traditional four-year university to a technical school. 

Stephen Jones, the foundation's treasurer and chair of the Nooksack Valley School Board, says the flexibility of the donation will benefit a wide range of students. "This fund helps fill the middle gap in our awards program between the 4.0 student going to a university with multiple scholarships and students who qualify for many grants on a needs basis," Jones says. "The solid middle ground students sometimes fall through the cracks, and this really helps us address those needs." 

The generous donation helps fund the future of scholarships for Nooksack Valley students, but it also highlights the value of gifting to the foundation, Saar says. 

The foundation has a mix of veteran and new volunteer board of director members and Jones says the Saar gift shows his confidence in the foundation and the program. "Not only does it inspire us to be good stewards of these funds, but it will inspire other generous donors to remember the Nooksack Valley Scholarship Foundation when they are deciding what nonprofit charities are important to them," Jones says. "On behalf of the entire community, we want to sincerely thank Greg Saar for choosing to remember his roots in the Nooksack Valley in this most generous way." 

Part of the mission for the foundation is to show support for every graduate looking to continue their education. That's why the foundation has made a point of awarding something to all successful applicants. But as the student population continues to grow it makes it more challenging to make meaningful awards to students. Difference-making donations allow the foundation to grow with the community while continuing to provide significant opportunities for students. 

Donating now gave the foundation a chance to use the money immediately and allow Saar to watch the fruits of his decision. "I have donated the money and I don't have any say over it, but I plan on spending time with the foundation," he says. "Not every kid you give money to will succeed, but with these types of opportunities, I think the majority of kids will and we can change some lives."