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Bend Foundation pledges $40,000 to COCC scholarships in honor of Bill Smith

Bill and Trish Smith attending the COCC Foundation's 2018 Meal of the Year fundraiser
Bill and Trish Smith attending the COCC Foundation's 2018 Meal of the Year fundraiser

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --The Bend Foundation is honoring longtime Bend civic leader, development visionary and Old Mill originator William Smith, who passed away last November, with a $40,000 donation to a previously established scholarship endowment started by Smith and his family at the Central Oregon Community College Foundation.

The gift recognizes Smith’s 40 years of dedicated trustee service to The Bend Foundation and the greater community, while furthering a cause he cherished.

Smith and his widow, Trish, have been ardent supporters of higher education on the high desert for decades, championing capital campaigns at COCC, establishing the COCC Foundation Smith Family Endowment, and being dedicated benefactors to COCC scholarships. Trish is a past trustee, executive director and now emeritus member of the COCC Foundation’s board.

The gift from The Bend Foundation — $10,000 per year over four years — will help grow an endowed fund to benefit many COCC scholarship recipients to come.

“The Bend Foundation is incredibly pleased to make this gift in support of Bill and his family’s steadfast support of COCC students, and we know this is a tribute that would make him proud,” said Romy Mortensen, trustee of The Bend Foundation. “Bill got his own career start in Bend as a summer intern for Brooks-Scanlon, and eventually served as president of Brooks Resources for 10 years starting in 1973. We feel this is a fitting way to honor the impact of higher education and where it can take you.”

Established and funded by Brooks-Scanlon, Brooks Resources and its shareholders, The Bend Foundation was originally formed in 1947 as a resource for injured loggers and millworkers, and to provide scholarships for mill industry workers. The Bend Foundation’s mission is to stimulate and enhance a thriving and creative community in Central Oregon.

The Bend Foundation itself has a half-century of giving history with COCC and will be honored at the COCC Foundation’s Meal of the Year fundraising event on April 8.

“Bill and Trish brought their leadership and legacy to the COCC Foundation and we are so grateful for their involvement and how they’ve prioritized education in the region,” said Zak Boone, chief advancement officer and executive director of the COCC Foundation. “This very generous donation from The Bend Foundation was one of many memorial gifts made to the Foundation in Bill’s name, showing just how much he meant to the community.”

Founded in 1955, the COCC Foundation provides funds for scholarships and capital improvements, cultivates relationships with stakeholders to support COCC and its students, and develops programs that foster COCC student success.

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