It is just a booklet. Just some black ink on thin white paper.
But for the families gathered inside the Barrington Public Library auditorium, it is much more. It is the memory of a son who was headed to Amherst College before his life was cut tragically short the night of his high school graduation. It is the memory of a father who dedicated his life to educating young people in Barrington. It is the memory of a husband and wife, Barrington residents, who had no children of their own but who wished to help other families’ children afford college.
The booklet for the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Barrington includes snapshots of people and organizations who have awards named in their honor: Ann Cuthbertson Memorial Award, Patrick Cannon Memorial Award, Jean Buffum Memorial Fund, and many more.
For decades, the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Barrington has helped line up deserving students with the three dozen local endowments. The foundation works quietly behind the scenes, but this year is planning an event to raise awareness and money for the organization.
CSF board members will hold an open house on Monday, Nov. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Billy’s Restaurant on Maple Avenue. The event is free and food will be served; people attending are encouraged to donate to the cause or discover other ways they can help the foundation grow stronger. (See sidebar for details)
CSF was established more than 50 years ago, and has since helped distribute more than 1,000 scholarships totaling approximately $800,000. The group’s mission is simple: enable Barrington students attend college by providing scholarships to off-set the cost of tuition and fees in the first three years of college.
Board members love what they do, but there’s always a desire to help more local students. If there were more endowments, there would be more money, and more students who could receive $1,000 or $2,000 to pay for books or help cover some of the meal-plan costs or some other fees.
The foundation is hoping for a large turnout on Nov. 4 at Billy’s. They’re also hoping some people in town will consider establishing an endowment — maybe for a loved one who cared greatly about education or for some other cause they find dear. They say people need about $10,000 to establish an endowment.
Currently, CSF has 36 scholarships. The oldest was established in 1960. It’s called the Barrington Woman’s Club Evelyn Coppell Award, which honors, in part, a former president of the club who was also a physician. The foundation added its most recent scholarships last year — the George F. and Martha McLean Creamer Endowment for Scholarship and the Richard F. Paolino Scholarship.
Recently, foundation officials have been encouraging former Barrington High School graduates to establish endowments. The BHS Class of 1962 did just that in 2003. During their 40th high school reunion, class members used some money that had been collected for the reunion but was left over and built a scholarship. The BHS Class of 1963 did the same thing a year later, and in 2010, the BHS Class of 1960 established its own award.
The scholarships are given to “regular kids who need help affording college,” said organizers. They are not merit based, and only one member of the CSF review board ever sees the student’s family’s financial information during the application process. Board members the scholarships often help the students who would otherwise fall through the cracks.
Nov. 4 CSF event
• Where: Billy’s Restaurant, Maple Avenue
• When: From 5 to 8 p.m.
• Who’s invited: The event is open to the public and free; food will be served
• More information: Visit csfofbarrington.com
A little history
The Citizens Scholarship Foundation was founded in 1959 when the local Kiwanis Club recognized the need to coordinate the efforts of local groups which were raising money to help high school graduates afford college. Club members created CSF to serve as the focus for community-based programs to raise money and distribute need-based scholarships. Barrington High School students raised the first scholarship funds by going door-to-door and asking residents to give $1. In 1960, six local organizations — Barrington Junior Chamber of Commerce, Nayatt PTA, Barrington Women’s Club, Barrington High School Association, Barrington Post-American Legion, and the Barrington Democratic Club — created the first scholarships.