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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Development Foundation is pleased to announce that NEO Women & Friends have endowed $10,000 toward a scholarship. The scholarship was originally established to provide financial assistance to students in need. Now as an endowed scholarship, funds will be invested to ensure the continuation of the award through the NEO Foundation. NEO Women & Friends is a group comprised of the faculty and staff of NEO and the spouses of current and former employees. neo-women-friends “We’ve always felt it was important to make this scholarship available for NEO’s students.” said Donna Hale, executive director of NEO Women & Friends. “But last year, our members decided it was time to endow funds and ensure the scholarship continues long after we’ve all retired.”

Each year NEO Women & Friends raises money for scholarships, the minor personal and medical needs of students living far from home, and the supply and operation of Peggy’s Closet, NEO’s professional clothing closet. The group’s purpose is to encourage and empower students to succeed, in both college and the workplace. The NEO Expo, an annual craft fair hosted the last Saturday in March, had been the group’s primary fundraising effort for 2016 until a matching-funds challenge from NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale and the President’s Partners group kicked the organization’s summer fundraising efforts into high gear. The ability to reach an endowment goal motivated members to approach sponsorship partners, consider larger personal donations, and go the extra-mile during fundraisers.

Among the organizations that partnered with NEO Women & Friends during the campaign was SODEXO Food Services with a generous $1000 donation. “This was a unique opportunity to double the impact of our contribution,” said Cathy Cunningham, SODEXO general manager and longtime supporter of NEO Women & Friends. “We always want to see NEO’s students succeed and this scholarship will help students achieve their higher education goals for many years to come.”

The NEO Development Foundation administers more than 150 scholarships to NEO students. Since its inception in 1983, the Development Foundation has assisted more than one thousand students with more than one million dollars in scholarships. The NEO Development Foundation accepts tax-deductible gifts and bequests of cash, real estate, equipment, securities, life insurance, and other property. For more information on scholarships offered through the NEO Foundation, contact Jennifer Walker at 918-540-6250. Photo caption: (from left: Sandy Shults; Lisa Severe; Janie Clay; Donna Hale, NEO First Lady; Jennifer Walker, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation; Jana Hayes; Carol Calcagno, president’s partner; Sloane Arana; Lenny Windle; and Kathryn Vanover)

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