PINEVILLE -- The Cornerstone Bank will give away five $1,000 scholarships on April 30 at Blankenship Park in Southwest City.
Angela Reece, lending officer and vice president at The Cornerstone Bank, organizes the scholarship giveaway each year, noting the 2022 giveaway marks the 53rd year Cornerstone has offered scholarships to senior students. Reece said the scholarship amount has consistently grown through the years.
"It started at $300, then $500, then $750," Reece said. "So, I was here when it was $750, and they increased it to a thousand, and I think that was simply because education is just more expensive."
Reece said Cornerstone Bank prioritizes offering scholarships because the bank wants to continue to aid the community where it can.
"Cornerstone has always been interested in helping our community," Reece said. "It's just one more thing that they do, trying to give back to our community," Reece said, after noting donations the bank has made to the community and school district.
Larry Vancuren, retired president of The Cornerstone Bank, said the scholarship originated with the Blankenship family many years ago.
"I've been here almost 50 years and I think the giveaway of the scholarships actually originated with the Blankenship family prior to my coming to work at the bank," Vancuren said. "Over the years, the size of the scholarships has been increased by the generosity of the Blankenship family."
Vancuren said he believes giving scholarships to seniors in the community is the "right thing to do," as $1,000 can help students with college expenses such as textbooks.
"I think it's just a good thing to do, I think it makes you feel good when you give it, and I think it makes the recipient feel good when they receive it," Vancuren said. "I think that we just realize it's the right thing to do."
Students can enter the scholarship giveaway up to the day of the drawing, April 30. The scholarship is only available for seniors who have an account or who have a parent or grandparent who has an account at The Cornerstone Bank. One thousand dollars will be given to each student's college directly upon winning.
"We think it provides a benefit and provides some assistance in going to college," Vancuren said. "The goal is to help somebody attend college."