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Cowlitz Indian Tribe donates $50,000 to Lower Columbia College

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Cowlitz Indian Tribe donates

Members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Lower Columbia College staff pose with the donation from the tribe Nov. 24 at ilani's annual tree lighting. Pictured left to right, rear row are: Suzanne Donaldson, Tribal Councilwoman; Luke Bridges, Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Clark County Fund Chairman; Whitney Mosback, Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Statewide Fund Chairwoman; Dan Meyer, Cowlitz Tribal Foundation Clark County Fund Board Member; and Tanna Engdahl, Cowlitz Indian Tribe Spiritual Leader. Pictured left to right, front row are: Patty Kinswa-Gaiser, General Council Vice-Chairwoman; Kendra Sprague, Vice President of the Lower Columbia College Foundation; and Chris Bailey, President of Lower Columbia College.

Lower Columbia College’s scholarships got a boost from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in the form of a $50,000 donation that will double the number of Cowlitz Tribal Scholarships the school can give.

The gift was part of nearly $200,000 in donations to five local nonprofits the tribe made at ilani’s annual holiday tree-lighting event Nov. 24. Lower Columbia College is the only recipient in Cowlitz County, as the Lacamas Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Association, Share Vancouver, Santa’s Posse and the Ridgefield Lion’s Club all are based in Clark County.

“The holidays are a time when everyone should feel supported and secure,” Cowlitz Tribe General Council Chairman Dave Barnett said. “We’re proud to offer financial assistance to local nonprofits that ensure our community is taken care of during these uncertain times.”

Hotel with 300 rooms, two new restaurants and sports betting under construction at ilani Casino in Ridgefield

Vice President of Foundation, Human Resources & Legal Affairs Kendra Sprague said the Lower Columbia College Foundation’s Cowlitz Tribal Scholarship was established in 2020 by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and is awarded to students who are attending LCC full time and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade-point average. In the past, it was given to four students, but with the gift from the Cowlitz Tribe, the school can now award eight full scholarships.

Half of the scholarship funding is awarded to students who are Native American, Alaskan Native or are members of any other federally recognized tribe and the other half is awarded to any LCC students. The scholarship’s funds are restricted to tuition, fees and books.

“The support of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and community partners like them, illustrate the importance of obtaining education beyond high school and the importance of Lower Columbia College in our community,” Sprague said. “Thank you Cowlitz Indian Tribe for your help in transforming lives through education.”

The donation to the Lower Columbia College Foundation for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe Scholarship came from the Tribe’s Statewide Fund, which is operated by a seven person board. Whitney Mosback, Cowlitz Tribal Member and General Council Secretary, is the Chairwoman of the fund. The six other board members are all members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. The Statewide Fund donates more than a million dollars annually to nonprofits in Washington state, “supporting the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s broader community,” according to a Cowlitz press release.

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