By Max Gun
Holt Journal staff writer
The H.O.L.T. scholarship fund, which stands for ‘helping others learn together,’ talked about a new way to raise money and awareness for its program at the March 19 Delhi Township Board meeting.
Stuart Goodrich, former supervisor of Delhi Township, is on the board of directors for the scholarship program. He started the program two years ago.
“I started this program because we need to get our kids educated better than the basic high school education,” Goodrich said. “Whether that means a college education, or an on-the-job training type of program, these kids need something more.”
C.J. Davis, current supervisor of Delhi Township, wanted to get creative in raising awareness and money for the fund when he was elected in November. He started the HaMmy Awards, a talent show for all ages, between the cities of Holt and Mason.
The talent show, which took place March 12 at Holt High School and will happen again on April 9, is free to participate in or watch, but people are encouraged to donate to the fund while there.
“I want to show that the city government can do things that don’t involve taxes, streets and sewers. We can also be effective in community change and bringing everyone together to help our students,” Davis said.
Goodrich and Davis also said increasing awareness of the scholarship program will encourage young families to move to Holt, increasing its property value.
“Since our township is in pretty good shape, our biggest thing is drawing families to the city of Holt. When you look at the school enrollments, kindergarten classes are getting smaller, so we want to attract young families. This scholarship fund would show people that if they stay in the area long enough, they will be rewarded for it with a college scholarship,” Davis said.
“In Kalamazoo with the Kalamazoo promise, many people want to move there in order to benefit from the city’s scholarship fund,” Goodrich said. “Hopefully over time, people will view Holt the same way.”
Evan Hope, Township clerk and board member of the fund, said he hopes the HaMmy’s will get the scholarship program off the ground.
“We need to raise a significant amount of money, and we are getting there,” he said. A big part of the HaMmy’s is to just raise awareness to the scholarship, because not many people know about it just yet. Before, we were relying solely on individual donations from people that knew.”
Hope also said that Holt Public Schools decide which students are eligible for scholarships.
“As the scholarship program stands now, it is for at-risk students. We have counselors identify those students to us by 7th grade,” he said. “Then we do what we can to make sure those students get scholarships.”
The scholarship fund has so far given out five, $2,500-per-year scholarships to students.
Davis said the HaMmy Awards have been a success so far in raising money for the scholarship fund, raising more than $220 at the March 12 event.
“As we move forward, we will have business’ donate to the scholarship fund and raise more money that way,” he said. “We want to show our community that we care about our kids and help them get through school and alleviate debt.”
The H.O.L.T. scholarship fund accepts individual donations online at holthelps.org.