Abaco Pathfinders held an auction event on March 22 at the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay on March 22. The event, which was well attended by second-home owners, aimed to raise funds for the scholarship foundation. Ten students were selected this year by the committee, each with their own struggles which they have overcome and each excelling to a level that demands recognition. Without the Pathfinders’ scholarship it is unlikely that either of the ten would be able to attend college.
Pathfinders needed to raise $200,000. So far they have raised $136,000 and are still seeking donations to make up the difference needed to send the students to college.
The weather for the afternoon was impeccable. Starting at 4pm, locals and second-home owners began arriving at the Abaco Inn. Abaco Pathfinders volunteers greeted the guests from Elbow Cay, marsh Harbour, man-O-War and elsewhere, and directed them to the silent auction table and the complimentary wine table. Hors d’oeuvres were also passed around by the Abaco Inn staff.
Guests moved along the silent auction table, which served as the centerpiece for the space, and rubbed elbows with acquaintances, old friend and, most importantly, some of the students who were chosen for this year. This allowed the patrons to get a much better feel and understanding for what their donations and purchases would be going towards. The students spoke about their dreams, goals and what the opportunity for furthered education meant to them.
One student in particular who was present that evening, to meet the potential donors, humbly shared her story. Escaping from an abusive home as a teenager, she worked to put herself up in an apartment and at the same time excel at school. She realized that waitressing for the rest of her life was not an option and set her sights at university in the United States. She applied to a very demanding school and was, in fact, accepted.
However, she soon realized she would not be able to afford the tuition. Despite the $6,000 scholarship she earned from the university she still fell short, financially, and had to contend with the terrible news that her mother was fighting cancer. She applied to Abaco Pathfinders and was accepted as one of only ten this year to receive a scholarship from the organization.
She is only one of the many deserving students the scholarship organization has put through school over the years. In the years since the organizations founding it has helped dozens of Abaco youth accomplish their dreams.
Abaco Pathfinders is currently supporting 43 Abaco students at universities in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Spain, China, Trinindad, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
“We realize the importance of educating our young people,” said Leazona Richard – director at Pathfinders –“it will not only change their lives, but it can change our nation.” She also expressed thanks to the many donors who have supported the scholarship fund over the years.
To close the evening, Michael Albury took to the stage to raise money via the live auction. Several bidding wars took place over a few choice items, most notably a beautiful boat built by Winer Malone of Hope Town, but in the end all the money went to a good cause.
However, in order to support the ten students this year Abaco Pathfinders still must raise the final $64,000. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (242) 367-6279.