Mansfield Rotary Club Invests in its Future

By David Crawford

March 22, 2018

(Photo: Rotary Club Treasurer Dave Crawford, Rotary Club Member/Richland County Foundation President Brady Groves and Rotary President/Richland Area Chamber of Commerce President Jodie Perry)

To ensure a long-term, stable source of funding, the Rotary Club of Mansfield has established three endowed funds over the years at the Richland County Foundation.

The first fund, the Walter Willis Scholarship Fund, was created in 1984. It was named to honor Walter Willis who served as the club’s secretary/treasurer for 53 years. He also was a major initial contributor to the fund. His interests in economics, forestry, and natural resources are the focus of the college scholarship which awards about $2,000 annually.

The McGowan Courage Award Fund was established in 1990 by an anonymous donor and was generously supported by Earl Goetz. It provides funding for $1,000 grants awarded annually to the recipients of the McGowan Courage Award. The award honors high school students who despite facing significant physical, psychological, family, or other challenges manage to succeed in school.  The students are nominated by teachers and staff at Richland County high schools. The fund and award is named in honor of Salvation Army Brigadier Bill McGowan, who was a long-time Rotarian and one of the award’s originators in 1968.  The fund generates about $5,900 each year.  

1991-92 Rotary Club President Tom Doty set a goal to start a fund to financially support various Rotary Club community projects. Tragically, he died in office. Club members responded by supporting his dream and in 1993 established the Rotary Club of Mansfield Tom Doty Community Fund. The donor advised fund has grown and now has a principal of about $90,000. It has funded several local projects including a playscape at North Lake Park.

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