Bob Lorkowski, an old Boy Scout, lives the part of the “Oath” which is to “help other people at all times.” Barb was an educator for 40 years, starting in Chicago’s inner city, to Weyerhaeuser K-3, Principal and District Administrator, and is someone who knows that “youth is our future.” What youth learn in class, Scouts, and through the examples of adults, is what forms the leaders of tomorrow. If a little financial support can help and encourage others to do the same, we just may survive and prosper as a nation.
This fund looks for graduating students, in every Rusk County high school, who are pursuing a career in environmental studies, game warden, forestry, etc. We are letting this fund build and have not granted from it. However, outside of this fund, we have awarded $50,000.00, since 1985, through the Syl Lorkowski Environmental Stewardship Scholarships (now Lorkowski family.) In addition, we fund the Austin Family Community Service Awards for Bruce graduates for their actual service to the community. Annually, we average six recipients receiving a $500.00 scholarship each. Since 1994, we have granted approximately $70,000.
Our advice for potential donors is to decide to start a fund now. It is a good feeling to see an excited 18-year-old with a goal receive a little startup money. If we would have had $100,000 years ago to put into the fund, it may be self-sustaining now. For now, the $6-7,000 per year is worth sharing the excitement of the graduates.