Lakeview Foundation Gala raises funds for annual scholarships

Paul Garrod -
KELSEA FOUNE 	Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

    LAWTON - The LakeView Foundation held its annual Gala event, Friday, Oct. 25, at the Lawton Community Center to raise funds to support its efforts to award scholarships to individuals seeking higher education in the healthcare field.
    Approximately 200 people attended the event, which included a live auction and miscellaneous raffle packages.
    Kelsea Foune, a Paw Paw High School graduate and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied biology and Spanish, spoke to the group about how her scholarship helped fund her education.
    “I was  fortunate enough to receive the LakeView Scholarship all four years of my undergraduate education, which helped cover a large portion of my tuition,” said Foune. “Although I was able to graduate from college debt free with the help of my parents, I will not graduate from medical school debt free, as the cost of one year of medical school can range from $40,000 to $80,000.”
    Foune said she is currently in the process  of applying to medical  school in her gap year. “During my gap year, I have been employed as a long-term substitute teacher to teach chemistry and environmental  science at Paw Paw High School. Although it has been odd being on the other side of things, being that I only walked those halls as a student myself four years ago, and that my old teachers are now my colleagues, it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences to work with my students and  to give back to my community,  just as the LakeView Foundation supports the youth of our community through giving them financial assistance so that they can take advantage of educational opportunities they otherwise might not have had the means to.”
    Foune’s future plans include to be accepted into an osteopathic medical school, with her goal to become a primary care physician that serves Southwest Michigan “so I can live a life in which I can serve members of our community and neighboring communities and aid individuals in obtaining the most optimal health.”
    In closing, Foune praised the LakeView Foundation, on behalf of her and other LakeView scholarship recipients, saying, “Although gratitude is something that can be difficult to find the right words for, thank you for helping us pay for our education, thank you for giving us the resources to achieve our goals as we work toward becoming professionals in the healthcare field, and thank you for helping us become successful members of our community.”
    During the past year, 72 students from Mattawan, Paw Paw, Gobles, Lawton, Decatur, Bloomingdale, Lawrence, Hartford and Bangor were awarded a total of $172,000 to be used for their eduction. The recipients included students in pre-medical, pre-dental, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, speech pathology, and respitory care.
    Individuals interested in applying for a scholarship may visit the  website at: to obtain an application and criteria for the  scholarship. Individuals from eastern Van Buren County must have a  3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in high school or college, fill out an application and submit it along with two references, an essay showing need, a transcript of grades, and an acceptance by the college of their choice. It must be received by the Foundation before April 15, of each year. The scholarship is renewable for no more than  four years and must be reapplied for each year.
    The Community Thrift Store and Holiday Store in Paw Paw also contribute their proceeds to the LakeView Foundation and are used for scholarships.

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