support, but it died down as time went on, Sambar said.
"When we first launched the endowment, we received a very positive
response, and I was absolutely thrilled and gratified," Sambar said.
But when the endowment president Jim Brown retired from his
position of Glendale Unified School District's superintendent,
interest waned. The scholarships are awarded out of the endowment's
interest, and there were years when there was not enough interest to
maintain the awards.
"But now we have Will Fleet who has picked up the torch and is
going forward to ignite interest in this," Sambar said. Fleet,
publisher of the Glendale News-Press, became president of the
endowment's foundation this month.
Some of the fundraising events that organizers are considering are
a golf tournament or a local wine-tasting event. Backers also hope to
get more support from graduates who have gone on to bigger and better
"We're looking at a lot of different options to re-launch and
create an interest and to build up the endowment," Sambar said. "I
know that with the leadership that the Glendale News-Press and
Publisher Will Fleet will provide, their support is going to ignite
to really generate tremendous interest. We have to keep the focus
that the cause is a noble one."
Marilyne Wiechmann agreed when she decided to donate $3,600 in
proceeds from community high school dances in 2001. Wiechmann and Dick Seeley, who helped her organize the dances, had donated $8,000
to the area high schools, but wanted to make sure the remainder of
the dance proceeds went to local students.
"We wanted it to go to the school kids who supported the dances,
and we thought a scholarship would be the logical thing," Wiechmann
The endowment is now at $13,132. Each year, $200 scholarships are
distributed to one student at Glendale's five public high schools.
Awardees are chosen by their high school counselors and must have
demonstrated financial need and a commitment to attend a two- or
four-year-college. Criteria for awardees also includes a compelling
story of overcoming obstacles and how it will make a difference in
the student's education or life.
* DARLEENE BARRIENTOS covers education. She may be reached at
(818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at darleene.barrientoslatimes.com.