Rosecrance and its community partners presented four scholarships June 21 to young alumni who are pursuing higher education at a variety of schools.
The scholarship ceremony took place at the John & Roberta Mink Pavilion, located at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus in Rockford. The spot is significant because the Minks’ involvement with Rosecrance started more than 40 years ago, and one of the scholarships is given in memory of John, a longtime Rosecrance board member who passed away in 2013.
Alyison M., 21, received the John Mink Memorial Scholarship, sponsored and presented by George Bates of Bates Financial Advisors Inc., for the second year in a row. The money will support her continued enrollment at Rock Valley College, where she’s excelling.
“I’m so grateful to receive this again this year,” she said. “I’m so grateful to all of you for believing in me and helping me believe in myself, and, most importantly, for saving my life.”
Bates said John would have been excited to see his work with Rosecrance carried on and that hearing about Alyison’s success made the scholarship “worth everything.” John’s family also attended the presentation.
Three other alumni received a scholarship that honors the memory of Donna Gillette, who worked at Rosecrance for more than 20 years as a psychiatric and addiction nurse. She was director of nursing for adolescent services when she retired in 2010 and worked with her husband, Cliff, to develop the scholarship before she passed away in 2014.
Donna’s family and friends attended the event and carried yellow roses, which were Donna’s favorite. Joe F., one of the scholarship recipients, thanked the crowd, which included his mother and sister, for supporting him.
“Closure is a strange word to use, but today sets this in stone,” Joe said of receiving the scholarship. “This is my new life. This is reality. It’s such a privilege to be part of this.”