Ibis Friends support PBSC veterans from boots to books
The Palm Beach State College Foundation has been awarded $40,000 for the second year in a row from the Ibis Friends of Veterans Charitable Organization, Inc. to support student veterans at the College.
The donation will be used toward scholarships and book stipends. One student recipient, Joseph Morel, was not only a veteran but also a first-generation college student when he received an Ibis scholarship award.
“The scholarship was a blessing, as I am the first in my family to attend college in over five generations,” said Morel, who is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “Words will never be able to sum up what a privilege and honor it is to have received the scholarship award.”
The donation, which was presented at the Ibis Golf & Country Club, is the latest in a series of gifts by the organization over the past four years bringing their total amount of PBSC giving to $140,000. The donation comes on the heels of the College opening its doors to its new 2,206-square-foot Veterans Success Center located in VSC 100 on the Lake Worth campus.
“The board members of the Ibis Friends of Veterans, the volunteers and the residents support student veterans at Palm Beach State to show our sincere gratitude to the men and women who have put their lives on the line defending our freedoms,” said Chairman Harvey Gingold, who has been a 13-year resident of Ibis Golf & Country Club and has served on the Ibis Friends of Veterans board for the past four years. “We hope that they can meet their educational goals and build a better life for themselves and their families.”
The $40,000, which was presented last week, came from a larger donation of $145,000 collected from the organization’s annual golf tournament and divided among the PBSC Foundation, the Stand Down House, Wounded Veterans Relief Fund and Paws 4 Liberty.
“The College has a reputation of supporting its veterans. However, because of the Ibis Friends of Veterans continued annual support, we have been able to take that support to a new level,” said Matthew Watkins, veteran affairs coordinator at Palm Beach State. “It has not only helped us bring more resources to our veterans but has helped the College increase veteran student enrollment and support college-wide.”
Last year, there were 70 book stipends and 22 scholarships awarded to deserving student veterans using the Ibis Friends of Veterans donation funds. The Ibis Friends of Veterans was established in 2012 by Bruce Gamradt and other veteran supporters residing in Ibis Golf & Country Club.
Palm Beach State also has veteran centers on the Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton campuses.