Blue Water Habitat for Humanity has awarded its first college scholarships to two women from St. Clair County, thanks to the generosity of one Lexington resident. “Maureen Power, a retired teacher, left a significant and unexpected gift in her estate plan, giving Blue Water Habitat the authority to use the money for any purpose,” said Barbara Ernsberger, executive director of Blue Water Habitat for Humanity. “We chose to honor her career as an educator and set up the Power Fund for Education, to award scholarships to Blue Water Habitat homeowners or children of homeowners; those who benefit from the housing programs made possible by our volunteers and contributors.” Power lived in retirement in Lexington, Mich. She died in 2010.
Danielle Lipa, of Marine City, a senior at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and Meghan DePelsMaeker, of Yale, a freshman at St. Clair County Community College, in Port Huron, are the first two scholarship recipients. Lipa will use her $2,000 scholarship to continue her studies in business administration.
DePelsMaeker, who plans a career working with young children and special needs students, will use her $1,000 scholarship to begin her college degree work. Both recipients credited Blue Water Habitat for Humanity with helping their families have a stable home life in their communities. Lipa and DePelsMaeker gained an appreciation for volunteerism, after observing Habitat volunteers working to build or rehabilitate houses. Blue Water Habitat will continue to award scholarships annually from the investment proceeds of the Power Fund, Ernsberger explained. But other educational uses may be funded if the organization’s board elects to do this. Donors are welcome to contribute to the Power Fund through individual gifts, multi-year pledges and estate giving. “The greater the amount of money available, the larger the awards,” she said.
Blue Water Habitat for Humanity (BWHFH) works in St. Clair and Sanilac Counties to raise awareness of and eliminate substandard housing. Operating since 1990, BWHFH has helped over 115 families achieve simple, decent and affordable shelter. People of all backgrounds are invited to work with BWHFH to build, renovate and repair houses with low income families in our community. Please visitwww.bwhabitat.org for more information.