Nearly $900,000 earmarked for CGHS scholarships

Last month, the Cottage Grove Community Foundation received $894,335 from the estate of Janice Neely earmarked for scholarships for education majors for graduating seniors at Cottage Grove High School (CGHS).

The foundation established The Janice Neely Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, the income from which will fund the scholarships.

Neely was a teacher, then counselor, at CGHS from 1952 until her retirement in 1987.

She was instrumental in establishing and furthering women’s sports. She coached field hockey, volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis.

She was named South Lane Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for 1971-1972 and was inducted into the CGHS Athletics Hall of Fame on April 10, 2010.

In April 2012, the “Coach Neely Fitness Trail,” a two-thirds-mile loops trail was developed at the high school and dedicated to honor her.

Neely loved teaching her students and they loved her.

South Lane School District Superintendent Yvonne Curtis expressed her appreciation for the generous investment in the community’s students.

“We are grateful to the Cottage Grove Community Foundation for managing endowments that provide scholarships for our students to pursue post-graduation and training,” she said. “We appreciate Janice Neely for remembering our students and for her generosity. These scholarships will enable our students who want to become teachers to receive financial support for pursuing their college degree. With this financial support, more students will be able to teach in our schools and perhaps return to our district to become South Lane School District teachers.

“Our goal to create a pathway for our students to become our teachers becomes an attainable goal for the district with financial support of students.”

The Cottage Grove Community Foundation partners with the Oregon Community Foundation in investing and managing endowment funds.

Oregon Community Foundation distributes income from endowment funds annually at the current rate of 4.3 percent. The local foundation has 43 separate endowment funds and has total assets with Oregon Community Foundation in excess of $4.8 million.

In addition to endowments created to provide scholarships, endowment funds have also been created by donors to provide annual grants to benefit local organizations like Community Sharing and the Family Relief Nursery among others.

The local foundation is governed by a volunteer board and has one part-time employee. More information is available on the foundation website

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