The Single Parent Scholarship Foundation held it's annual “A Night in Tuscany” at the home of Sharon and the late Sam Sicard on Saturday (Aug. 24), with around 175 supporters attending the fundraiser.
Guests enjoyed wine, food, music, and a live auction. Benefits from the event support the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian Counties.
Drinks and hors d'oeuvres were served before dinner as guests mingled around the pool and out on the balcony. Before dinner, Patrick Charlton and Tiffany Reeves sang The Prayer. Dinner was catered by Taliano's. Several scholarship recipients served the hors d'oeuvres. Desserts were provided by Simply Sweets.
New this year was an added signature drink "Tuscany.” Caroline Johnston hand-painted wine glasses and for $20 a glass, guests could get the signature drink throughout the night. There were 12 items in the live auction.
LaToya Campbell, one of the scholarship recipients, has been in college for three semesters and is working toward a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. She believes the scholarship has benefited her because "as a single parent, juggling money has been a struggle. The money helps with school supplies, bills, and Christmas."
She works part-time cleaning duplexes where she lives and also catering events. Her advice to other single parents is, "Don't give up. It may seem scary at first, but everything will work out and the pay off in the end will be worth it."
Joanna Summers, also a scholarship recipient, first received the scholarship in 2010. She will graduate from college in December 2014 with a bachelor's degree in nursing.
The scholarship program has been "a blessing."
"It's not just the money, but the little things like getting my nails done. The program goes above and beyond. It allows the small things possible,” Summers said. "Linda Kaufenberg (director of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian Counties) does an amazing job and is an amazing woman,” she said.
Summers hasn't had much support from family and believes he has always been looked down upon as a single parent.
"When I graduate, I will have a degree regardless of what the statistics show and what people say. I can say I did it with a smile,” Summers said.
The Single Parent Scholarships are given to low-income single parents who are pursuing post-secondary education in preparation for skilled employment. They organize affiliated scholarship funds that serve every county of Arkansas.
To apply for a scholarship or to get involved, contact the SPSF. The purpose of the Single Parent Scholarships is to provide supplemental financial assistance to those single parents living in Arkansas who are pursuing a course of instruction that will improve their income-earning potential. In most cases, scholarships may be used for tuition, books, utility bills, car maintenance, childcare, or any other financial need that contributes to the recipients' success in school. However, the guidelines for the manner in which the scholarship may be used are at the discretion of each scholarship provider. (Link here for more eligibility requirements.)