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Reservations Being Accepted for Oct. 27 Scholarship Fundraiser in Grand Rapids for Michigan's Foster Care Youth

Oct. 19, 2021

Michigan students who experienced foster care are eligible to receive college scholarships through money raised at the Oct. 27 Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund Benefit Dinner in Grand Rapids.

The sixth annual Grand Rapids Fostering Futures Scholarship event is being held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at VENUE3TWO in Grand Rapids. The cost to attend is $100 or $800 for a table of eight.

"Every dollar helps help raise money so those young adults who experienced foster care can realize their dream of a college education," said Robin Lott, director of Treasury's Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning. "The need for scholarship funds has not diminished in the past year. If you can't make it in-person, please join us on Facebook Live and consider making an online donation. Your donation, big or small, will positively impact our youth."

The event includes dinner, a variety of raffle opportunities -- including a 50-50 raffle -- and entertainment by the Spartan Jazz Trio of the Michigan State University Jazz Studies Program. Lauren "Shmitty" Smith, of iHeart Media in West Michigan, will be the Emcee for the evening. 

This year's West Michigan honorees are Dr. David and Mrs. Patsy Eisler. Dr. Eisler is the president of Ferris State University. Dr. and Mrs. Eisler established a scholarship endowment that will support foster care youth to have the opportunity of a Ferris State University education.

The Michigan Education Trust and Michigan Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services are again teaming up to host the fundraiser. COVID-19 protocols will be in place at the event, including a requirement that attendees wear masks.

Reservation information is available at Individuals who cannot attend the event may donate to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund online.

Close to 11,500 youth are in the Michigan foster care system run by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, fewer than 10% of former foster youth nationally enroll in college after high school and fewer than 3% eventually earn a degree.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund provides former foster care students who may not have adequate financial resources to attend college with a scholarship. During the 2021-22 academic year, 467 students at 58 different institutions are eligible for support.   

Last year about 406 students received the award, of which 135 were attending college in West Michigan.

Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund is a Section 170(c) organization, so all contributions are eligible for an income tax deduction.

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Press Contacts: Danelle Gittus or Ron Leix, Treasury Public Information Officers, at 517-335-2167