Fluor’s donation to establish a vocational school scholarship program came after a three-month application process by the foundation during which Holt worked with officials in the company’s Greenville, S.C., branch office, she said.
The process was set in motion when Jeff Schultz, human resources director for Fluor, contacted Holt last spring about the possibility of the company making a “sizable donation,” she said. Fluor was completing its work at the Brown plant and Shultz told her he wanted to give something back to the community where it had been working for the last several years, she said.
“I’m just ecstatic about this generous donation and what this means for our students,” said Holt. “I knew when we started the foundation back in 2008, that great things were ahead of us, but when you get a donation like this along with the support and belief in your organization from your community, it just makes me speechless.”
Goal is $100K
The foundation, which was established in March 2008 as a 501 (c) 3 organization in March 2008, has raised about $95,000 so far, and that amount includes the $40,000 donation from Fluor, Holt said.
“Our goal back in January of this year was to have raised a total of $100,000 by the end of this year, and thanks to the donation from Fluor, it looks like we just may meet that goal,” she said.
The idea behind the creation of the foundation came from Holt.
“It was a vision and dream of mine,” said Holt, who handles public relations for the Mercer County school district. “In my role in public relations, I attend various conferences and found that there were public school districts in Kentucky who had foundations.”
Holt said the need for a foundation to assist public schools is more important than ever, given the financial pressure now on districts.
“With the tough economic situation we all are in and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, I believed an education foundation was something Mercer County Schools needed,” she said. “Nobody asked me to start one, and it wasn’t part of my school job. I just really believed we needed it.”
She said it also was important to her to make academics the focus of the foundation.
“I want the full-purpose and integrity of the foundation to be the same 20 years from now as it is today, and that is we are an academic–based foundation,” she said.
Foundation focuses on academics
Holt said strongly supports a “strong sports” program in the Mercer schools, and she noted that she played basketball for the Mercer Lady Scotties, her brother is a veteran football coach and her father coached football at Boyle and Mercer Counties.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love sports,” she said. “But all sports teams have booster clubs to help assist with their financial needs, so the foundation focuses totally on the academic side.”
Although the foundation provides assistance to schools in the Mercer County district and Holt is an employee of the district, she stressed that it is not part of the school system and is a “totally separate entity, a non-profit business in its own right.”
With the support of numerous local businesses, industries, banks and community leaders, the foundation was established with following objectives:
* Provide an avenue for sizable donations through wills, estates, gifts and corporate contributions, etc. to support the children of Mercer County Schools.
* Raise funds for general and/or ongoing needs such as scholarships or to support children of low-income families participation in school activities, and for specific projects.
* Accept donations from individuals who simply want to donate to a school or a specific project or school group for tax purposes.