For Springfield’s Sarah Winton and Caroline Langley, scholarships from the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the University of Missouri Alumni Association have meant, well, everything.
“Without the scholarship money,” Winton said. “I probably wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity go to Mizzou.” Said Langley, “I can’t really put a value on it. It’s helped me in so many ways.”
Aiding southwest Missouri high school graduates attending Mizzou has long been the focus of the Ozarks chapter, which has gifted more than $125,000 in recent years and invites the public to join its annual two-day celebration coming up in May.
The chapter’s Tiger Ball & Scholarship Auction presented by Meyer Farms, KWTO & KTXR HD is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 4 at the Oasis Hotel & Convention Center – a larger venue to accommodate the growing interest of Ozarks families eager to really to the cause. The annual Mizzou Alumni Golf Classic presented by Great Southern Bank will follow the next day at Millwood Golf & Racquet Club. To sign up or support the effort in any way, call 417-889-3100.
“The $125,000 raised has been applied towards scholarships for local students,” said Andy Stewart, President of the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the MU Alumni Association. “For a number of students, it means the difference between pursuing a college degree or starting in the work force.”
The Greater Ozarks Chapter also has created an endowment thanks to the success of these events.
“Our goal was to apply $25,000 towards our endowment in five years,” Stewart said. “We completed our goal in just over two years and now have approximately $40,000 in our endowment fund. And we are not done funding it. We want it to continue to grow.”
Scholarship dollars have certainly helped Winton and Langley.
Winton, a Springfield Catholic High School graduate, is now a sophomore nursing student at Mizzou. She has turned her time in Columbia into even more volunteer work by being involved in on-campus service sorority activities such as aiding Relay for Life and local food banks.
“It’s great that we have such a good community around the Ozarks that would be willing to help me and support me in my education,” Winton said.
Langley, a Kickapoo High School graduate and Mizzou freshman, is majoring in Engineering. She described the scholarship dollars as offering her “peace of mind” as she tries to succeed in the challenging Engineering program, plus participates in mentoring programs. For spring break, she traveled to South Carolina and volunteered on a Habitat for Humanity home project.
“It’s helped me realize that there is someone else out there in the Ozarks and they believe in me,” Langley said of the scholarship. “It’s like a pat on the back. It’s really helped to boost my confidence.”
Tiger Ball & Scholarship Auction presented by Meyer Farms, KWTO & KTXR HD
When: 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4
Where: Oasis Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield
What: Cocktails, dinner, the Techs and Roadies band as well as a silent auction (with mobile bidding) and a live auction
Tickets: Tables of eight are $300, and an individual ticket is $40. Special ticket packages are available for both the Tiger Ball and the MU Alumni Golf Classic.
MU Alumni Golf Classic presented by Great Southern Bank
When: 8 a.m. & 1 p.m. tee times on Friday, May 5
Where: Millwood Golf & Racquet Club
What you get: Continental breakfast, lunch, a terrific golfer gift package, trophies to winners – including in a new women’s division
Teams: It’s $750 for a team of three or four, or $175 for an individual.