Longtime New Britain-Area Cultural Organization Teams with Community Foundation to Establish Scholarship Fund
Austrian Donau Society Seeks to Help Area Youth Achieve Educational Goals
New Britain, Conn., November 16, 2015 – New Britain’s Austrian Donau Society, which since 1920 has been a cultural anchor and driver of events and programs for the region’s German and Austrian community, has chosen the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain as steward for its Austrian Donau Scholarship Fund.
The Austrian Donau Scholarship is awarded annually to one or more graduating high school seniors from the Central Connecticut region. All graduating seniors are eligible to apply for the award, with special consideration given to those who are of German/Austrian descent and interested in pursuing German/Austrian studies. GPA ranking, a written essay, character and family membership in the Austrian Donau Society are all considered.
“Our goal in establishing this fund with the Community Foundation is to recognize the achievements of our youth and help them attain the dream of a higher education,” said Dennis Kern, president of the Austrian Donau Society. “By partnering with the Community Foundation, this scholarship fund will live on in perpetuity, benefitting many more students for years to come.”
The Austrian Donau Society has managed the scholarship on its own for the past seven years, awarding 22 scholarships totaling $18,500, according to Fred Strasser, former chair of the Society’s Scholarship Committee. The original idea to establish the fund came from former member Nick Paonessa, he said. Over the years, said Strasser, many Society and Scholarship Committee members have contributed to the continued growth and success of the fund, including Kathy Callini, current Scholarship Committee Chair Marc McKay, Frank Molnar and Mona Starczewski.
“We take great pride in awarding these scholarships each May,” said Strasser. “These individuals are only a few of the many who have worked so hard over the years to grow and sustain this fund.”
In partnering with the Community Foundation, said Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation, the Society gains the advantages that come along with a highly skilled and experienced team managing a 200-fund portfolio valued at more than $45 million.
“It is our distinct pleasure to meet the needs of the Austrian Donau Society and to help ensure that the Austrian Donau Scholarship will be awarded in perpetuity, helping countless numbers of area youth realize the goal of a higher education,” said Williamson.
The Austrian Donau Society, at 545 Arch Street, New Britain, was formally established in 1920 with the merger of four local Austrian and German organizations. The Arch Street Clubhouse is presently the center of Austrian and German activities in Greater New Britain, with a variety of programs including traditional folk dancing, choral singing performances and a regular schedule of traditional ethnic festivals and events. For more information on the Society, visit www.austriandonauclub.com.
Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, manage permanent charitable assets effectively, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership. For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org