LIMA — It was a busy day Monday for the Lima Rotary Club as the local chapter gave more than $30,000 in donations and scholarships.
More than 20 scholarships were given to nontraditional area students, with “nontraditional” referring to students who enroll in postsecondary education after spending time in the workforce or those working while studying at educational institutions in the Lima area. A program in place since 2001, a total of 916 scholarships have been awarded to date.
“The scholarships are open only to local people in Allen County, and they have to attend an institution in Allen County,” Rotary Club member William Timmermeister said. “That’s the whole idea. As a service club, we serve the community of Lima and Allen County, and therefore, we’re only paying for scholarships for people who will remain here.”
Highlighting these students who are already living and working in Allen County who otherwise would not be eligible for scholarships, being nontraditional students, is a way to help keep qualified, skilled workers in this area, according to Timmermeister.
“We’re trying to increase their marketability to be hired by local business, making them more valuable to local business,” he said.
Scholarship recipients included Kellie Mace, who obtained her master’s degree in advanced social work while working in Lima, and Kayla Miller, of Delphos, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, both of whom attended Ohio State University-Lima. Receiving $1,000 each in scholarship funds offered both of them increased financial flexibility.
“For me, it really helps with finances, because in the summer, I’m working full-time,” Miller said. “But now, I’m currently doing my internship and going to class, so that doesn’t leave a lot of room with me to work outside.”
“Right now, I’m working full-time and I have my internship, so there are a lot of things going on, so this helps,” Mace said.
Also receiving donations were the Allen County Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E. program, the Soldiers of Honor adolescent boxing program, and the Lima Symphony Orchestra. For Aaron McLaurine, director of Soldiers of Honor, receiving $2,000 will help tremendously in helping to reach young people by allowing him to purchase boxing equipment and helping to fund a fall boot camp.
“It means the world,” he said. “When you get somebody who agrees with your vision, it always means the world. It means they see the same thing you see and they’re willing to help out any way they can.”