The Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation presented a check last week for $1,000 to support the Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship Fund in a ceremony at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The Foundation raised the funds at its Annual Community Fitness Run, held this past fall in Wellington.
|Coming together for the recent Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship Fund check presentation at Palm Beach Atlantic University are, from left, Dr. Jim Laub, dean of the MacArthur School of Leadership; Kate Myers de Vega, assistant professor of English at PBA; Sonya Moste, associate director of marketing and communications for the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation; Mary Lou Bedford, executive vice president of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation; Tim and Juanita McGraw, parents of Lt. Jerms McGraw; and PBA President William M. B. Fleming, Jr.|
The scholarship was created in memory of U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Jeremiah McGraw. Known by his nickname “Jerms,” Lt. McGraw was a student in the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership while serving as a Marine reservist, part of the 4th ANGLICO unit in West Palm Beach.
Lt. McGraw died on Sept. 10, 2009, during a training exercise in Central Florida while serving his country. He was 22. Prior to his death, Lt. McGraw earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from PBA.
“Jerms McGraw was a patriotic hero who is now saluted by both Palm Beach Atlantic University and the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation,” says William M. B. Fleming, Jr., president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. “Through the Foundation’s advocacy, community members can participate in passing along Lt. McGraw’s commitment to character and country.”
This type of scholarship program is an endowed scholarship. The principal of the endowment is never spent, so the endowment funds scholarships in perpetuity. As the funds mature, the scholarship awards increases with time. Wayne Burns, CEO of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation said, “We are happy to make long lasting investments in our community and people who need a second chance.”
Mary Lou Bedford, executive vice president of the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation, presented the check to President Fleming. In attendance were the parents of Lt. McGraw, Tim and Juanita McGraw, who are committed to growing the scholarship fund each year.
The contribution made by the Foundation boosts the scholarship fund to more than $26,000. To date, the scholarship fund has supported four students. Three additional students will be presented with the Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship at the University’s Speaker Series lecture on Thursday, April 3. Jimmy Collins, former president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, will speak at the event hosted by the MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University and the PBA Alumni Association. The event will be held 6:30 p.m. in the DeSantis Family Chapel, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. The presentation is free and open to the public.
About the Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation
The Central Palm Beach County Community Foundation is the 501c3 philanthropic arm of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. The geographic footprint of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber extends the sugar cane fields near Lake Okeechobee to the coral reefs of the Atlantic Ocean, encompassing 15 incorporated municipalities and serving a population of more than 490,000 residents, roughly 36 percent of the population of Palm Beach County. From Cane-to-Coral the communities located within the chamber’s footprint are: Acreage, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Greenacres, Lake Clarke Shores, Lake Worth, Lantana, Loxahatchee, Loxahatchee Groves, Manalapan, Palm Springs, Royal Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Wellington and West Palm Beach. Over 1,200 member businesses receive benefits through the Chamber’s programs and services. The Chamber also produces community events such as Reggae Fest, Salsa Fest, Women for Women 5K/10K, Tropical Triathlon, Community Fitness Run and the Street Painting Festival.
About Palm Beach Atlantic University
Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is a private, independent university offering undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in West Palm Beach, Orlando, Wellington and online. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service. The lecture on April 3 is part of the MacArthur Leadership Speaker Series. For more information, call Delesa Morris, assistant vice president for Alumni Relations and Annual Fund,
at (561) 803-2022.
To watch a 16-minute documentary about Lt. Jerms McGraw and the scholarship’s first recipient, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGLOF3MriL8