More than 30 nursing scholarships have been handed out by the AMVETS Sad Sacks organization over the last 27 years to students at Rend Lake College, earning the Sad Sacks the Bronze Major Gift Award.
A fun-making and honor organization comprised of AMVETS members, the Sad Sacks (who derive their name from the famous cartoon character of World War II) provide, as their chief community service project, scholarships for nurses. The Sad Sacks were recognized for their contributions during the Rend Lake College Foundation Annual Dinner, held Thursday, Dec. 1, at Mt. Vernon Holiday Inn.
The criteria for this scholarship requires the recipient to be a nursing student, with eligibility based on the student’s academic record, character, interest, activities and financial need. Priority is given to the dependent of a deceased or disabled veteran.
To date, 31 RLC nursing students have received the AMVETS Sad Sacks Scholarship, for a total donation of $13,950. In many years there has been more than one recipient, with a second scholarship being given in memory of a fallen veteran.
April Smith (Valier), a mother of two who won the scholarship for the 2004-2005 academic year, said she plans to become a “registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in a fast-paced medical environment with opportunity for advancement and the ability to touch lives.” The 2003-2004 recipient was the mother of seven children.
“These are the types of students the AMVETS Sad Sacks designed their scholarship for,” said Pat Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the Rend Lake College Foundation. “It is because of organizations such as this that differences are made as the nursing profession strives to improve the present shortage of healthcare personnel.”
The Sad Sacks are “definitely leaving a legacy” by helping produce nurses to care for others, Mitchell said.
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