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Community Foundation Receives $2 Million Gift for Joshua Scholarship Fund

Russell County Area Community Foundation LogoThe Russell County Area Community Foundation has announced a $2 million gift from the Starr F. Schlobohm Trust for the Joshua Scholarship Fund.

The Joshua Scholarship Fund was established by Dr. Starr F. Schlobohm in 2004 to benefit students graduating from a high school in Russell County. Scholarships are awarded through an application process to assist students age 30 and under attending a college, university or vocational or technical school. Upon his death in February 2012, the Starr F. Schlobohm Education Trust was established with a significant portion of his estate. He has directed the trust to continue to operate his oil and gas business to generate income to provide annual gifts to the Joshua Scholarship Fund.

"This is truly an incredible gift to our community and to future Russell High graduates from a wonderful man," said John Farmer, IV, a member of the Foundation's board of directors. "This scholarship fund will have an enormous impact on the future of this community by someday making it possible to give very significant scholarships that will last into perpetuity. This will, in turn, make it much easier for employers to attract new employees with young children that could eventually graduate from our school system."

"The Joshua Fund is an endowment at the Russell County Area Community Foundation. Endowment gifts are invested so the principal remains permanently intact, and earnings from the principal are allocated annually for charitable purposes. This allows the gift to have a significant impact over generations," said Angela Muller, executive director of the Foundation. "Using a 5-year average to determine the allocation, the Foundation distributes 5% of the fund each year for local scholarships," said Muller. "This allows the number and amount of scholarships to increase over time as the principal of the fund grows and generates additional income."

The Joshua Fund is the largest scholarship fund in the Foundation, and now totals $3.4 million, having received a $1 million gift last year. Since inception, the Fund has awarded 183 grants totaling $121,000. The scholarship celebrates academic achievement and encourages involvement in extra-curricular activities and out-of-school employment. It also emphasizes good citizenship and character.

Although Dr. Schlobohom was a resident of New Hampshire, he spent a considerable amount of time in the Russell County area where he made many friends and business associations. He felt that his friends and associates here contributed to his success, and it was his desire to share his success with the Russell community through the scholarship fund.

Starr Schlobohm owned Starr F. Schlobohm Oil Operations and was the principal owner of Royal Drilling Inc. of Russell. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1952 with Highest Honors and was first in his class of 500. He received a doctorate degree in Marketing and Economics from New York University and was a professor of Economics and Business Administration at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School.

"Starr Schlobohm's gift to Russell and the surrounding community will keep on giving for generations to come and will change the lives of so many people," said Radonna Brandenburg, a member of the Foundation's board of directors. "He was a very unselfish and giving man. What an inspiration for others to consider using an estate gift to give back to their community."

The Russell County Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, was established to create a permanent source of philanthropy to address current and future community needs through grant making and partnerships.

"The Russell County Area Community Foundation was established by thoughtful members of the Russell area for just this purpose. To assist generous individuals and support causes they care about both in their lifetime and through legacy gifts," said Betsy Wearing, President of the Greater Salina Community Foundation. "Starr was an extraordinary person who had a passion to help young people reach their greatest potential. His gift will serve the youth of Russell County forever."

Since inception, the Community Foundation and its generous donors have awarded more than $1 million to meaningful causes and issues, such as education, the arts, historical preservation and community development. The Community Foundation is the largest provider of grants and scholarships in the Russell County area.

For more information, contact Angela Muller at 785-445-3611.

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