Challenge Grant Grows for Nursing Scholarships


May 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Ann Pross, Center Director for Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic has announced that the Don & Lois Sonntag Endowment Fund has received its first contribution towards their $5,000 challenge grant.  The funds will be available to students from the Atlantic area that are pursuing a career in nursing, especially those serving patients with cancer.

Atlantic resident, Pat McCurdy contributed the first $1,000 to the Don & Lois Sonntag Endowment Fund.  It will be matched by Don and Lois Sonntag who have family members that have been challenged with cancer.  The career of nursing is tender to their hearts.
In making his donation, McCurdy said he’s “Seen first-hand what a wonderful profession nursing is.” He says his “…Late wife Linda had a 15 year battle with cancer.  Her care from all the nurses over those years was outstanding.  If this scholarship helps one person become a nurse it is money well spent.”

The Don & Lois Sonntag Endowment Fund is offering up to a $5,000 challenge grant for matching funds to benefit students attending Iowa Western Community College. They have already committed $2,500 to nursing scholarships and the gift from Pat McCurdy brings the current scholarship total to $3,500. The goal will be to appeal for funds to match the $5,000 challenge and have $10,000 available for area students who are pursuing a career in nursing.

Pross said “It is particularly meaningful to have families pledge a gift to the effort of educating our next generation of nurses,” and she hopes that others will join in the scholarship campaign “So that they can maximize the generous challenge from Don & Lois Sonntag.” Pross said also that the scholarship opportunity will provide much-needed financial assistance to those enrolled in nursing prerequisites or the nursing program.

Matching funds under the endowment program can be in any amount.  All funds will be submitted to Iowa Western Community College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax deductible entity, and all donors will be recognized per their request. Iowa Western Community College will make decisions on all applications according to need and scholarship criteria.  The amount awarded to each student will depend on the number of qualified applicants.  The scholarships will be for classes starting August 20th, 2012, and students from Atlantic and surrounding area area eligible to apply.  All funds from the effort will be used only for students enrolled in nursing prerequisite courses or the nursing program.

For additional information, contact:  Don Sonntag at 712-249-1906 or Ann Pross, Iowa Western Cass County Center Director at 712-243-5527.