In 1926 West Bend High School alumni contributed to a fund used for $50 book awards given to outstanding graduates. The West Bend High School Alumni Foundation was established in 1945 and solicited funds for book awards and for a broader base of financial support. In 1961 the foundation obtained tax-exempt status and began the scholarship and aid program with awards totaling $600. The foundation merged with the West Bend Scholarship Fund, Inc. in 1972 and COLUMNS was born. That year they distributed $16,550 in scholarships.
Since 2008 COLUMNS has awarded close to or over $200,000 each year in scholarships, with 2013 seeing scholarships totaling $262,800 awarded to graduating seniors.COLUMNS is headed by a board of directors, consisting of 21 members that meet four times a year: February, May, September, and November. The general membership consists of over 65 members that attend the annual meeting every year in November. There are 7 permanent committees and two ad-hoc committees that all meet on an as-need basis throughout the year.
COLUMNS provides both academic and technical scholarships to graduates of West Bend East and West Bend West High Schools as they advance their education.
There are two types of scholarships:
- COLUMNS Scholarships and COLUMNS-administered Scholarships.
- COLUMNS administers scholarships for individuals, organizations, and other foundations.
Members of the COLUMNS scholarship committee interview scholarship applicants in March of the year. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing; financial need; evidence of character, leadership, and determination; and meeting the specific requirements of the individual donor.
COLUMNS is headed by a board of directors, consisting of 21 members that meet four times a year: February, May, September, and November. The general membership consists of over 65 members that attend the annual meeting every year in November. There are 7 permanent committees and two ad-hoc committees that all meet on an as-need basis throughout the year.
- Finance and Investment Committee
- Scholarship Committee
- Membership Development Committee
- Public Relations Committee
- Symphony Committee
- 5K Run/Walk Committee
- Youth Concert Committee
- Membership Committee
West Bend Columns Board of Directors
Rose Petitte, President
Deb Cahoon, Vice President
Josie Minskey Brzezinski, Secretary
John Conwell, Treasurer
Anne Marie Danaher
Prudence Pick Hway
- Members are expected to serve on one or more of the many COLUMNS committees to increase fund-raising resources.
- Members are required to sell a minimum of 5 of the distributed MSO Holiday Pops Concert tickets at a cost of $20.00 each, or make a donation of $100 or more.
- Members are expected to attend the Annual Meeting in November.
- Members are expected to act as liaisons to the community promoting COLUMNS and its ideals.
West Bend Columns Members
Mary Ellen O’Connor