ST. PAUL, Minn. (June 23, 2017) – The Affinity Plus Foundation raised more than $25,000 Tuesday, June 20, at its 16th annual golf tournament at the Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury, Minn.
Amy Hanson, foundation executive director, said the 2017 tournament drew a record 140 golfers. After a day on the links, participants gathered for an evening reception where Hanson introduced several scholarship and grant-award recipients.
“We have a lot of fun on the golf course, but these stories help us understand that it’s fun with a purpose. Our tournament really is about all the people we help with the dollars raised each year,” she said.
Scholarship recipient Hannah Volkman is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and co-founder of TC Food Justice, a non-profit working to reduce food waste and hunger.
“It’s a lot, trying to work through a PhD and manage my volunteer staff on the side,” Volkman said. “I don’t know if I’d be able to do it without your support.”
Recipient Xeng Yang will attend the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities this fall to pursue a computer science degree. Yang said his large family emigrated from Thailand, and his parents work very hard. Still, they sometimes struggle financially.
“Your scholarship means I can be more independent. I can go to college and not have to burden my parents,” he said.
Recipient Gabe McGinn is attending Dunwoody College of Technology, majoring in engineering, drafting and design. He also is an artist in various media. He explained that his education, tools and supplies are expensive.
“I’ve worked hard for everything that I have; I’ve earned it. This is the first time that someone helped me out and it really means a lot to me and my family,” McGinn said.
Tournament proceeds support the foundation’s academic scholarships and statewide grants for financial-literacy focused education programs. Since 2001, the foundation has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to Affinity Plus members and over $300,000 to statewide non-profits.
Below are the $5,000 scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 school year:
• Caitlin S., Baxter, Minn.
Caitlin graduated this spring from Brainerd Senior High School, and will attend South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., to pursue a nursing degree. She’s passionate about giving back to her community by participating with the Brainerd Lakes Chapters of Muskies, Inc.
• Elizabeth G., Mankato, Minn.
Elizabeth is a student at Minnesota State University – Mankato, pursuing a double major in Spanish and Social Work. She is a volunteer for the ER and STEP Force at Mayo Clinic Health System and a certified Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate.
• Eva B., St. Cloud, Minn.
Eva currently is serving in the United States Civil Air Patrol as a Senior Member. She is active in leading youth while pursuing an accounting degree through St. Cloud Technical and Community College and St. Cloud State University.
• Gabe M., Hastings, Minn.
Gabe’s passion for engineering and design through previous roles in the Marine Corps are now shaping his education in medical technology at Dunwoody Institute.
• Hannah V, Minneapolis
A current doctoral student at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, Hannah is the co-founder of TC Food Justice and is focused on becoming a leader in the infectious disease field.
• Marsha D., Mankato, Minn.
Marsha is pursuing a doctoral degree in community college leadership at Minnesota State University – Mankato. She believes her education will positively impact the role community colleges play in higher education.
• Matthew B., Duluth, Minn.
Matthew is currently working towards his bachelor’s degree in Music Education while developing his own performance skills by participating in various musical groups both on and off campus.
• Xeng Y., St. Paul
Xeng graduated this spring from Johnson Senior High School will pursue a computer-science degree at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. In high school he was a peer tutor, was a member of Johnson High School’s First Robotics Team and looks forward to giving back to his community through technology and science-education projects.
Below are the recipients of the 2017 Community Grant Program:
• Cookie Cart – For nearly three decades, Cookie Cart has employed North Minneapolis teens and taught work and life skills, including personal financial literacy. The program is expanding; groundbreaking for its new St. Paul location is slated for Thursday, June 29.
• Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) – From its website: MCEE “equips Minnesotans with the economic and personal financial understanding needed to succeed in today's complex economy. MCEE accomplishes this mission by teaching teachers, engaging students, and reaching communities.”
ABOUT THE AFFINITY PLUS FOUNDATION
Founded in 2000, the Affinity Plus Foundation is a 501(c)(3) serving Minnesota communities. The Foundation administers its own scholarship programs, awards grants to non-profit groups and schools, and supports financial education initiatives through partnerships, presentations and resources. The Foundation operates on funds generated from its annual events; from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; and from generous donations from community members who believe in and support financial education.