Home News Local News Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund benefits from recent donation

Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund benefits from recent donation

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Feb. 24 deadline for students to apply is fast approaching

The Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund recently received a generous donation from First American Bank Trust and Wealth Management Division. The amount of the award was not specified but was described as substantial by fund representatives.

Donations to the fund had decreased throughout 2020 as a result of conditions and circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the organization.

“This very large donation will have a tremendous impact on the amount of awards for the 2021-2022 academic year,” the release states.

Begun in 1977, the Cowboy Bell Scholarship has awarded almost $1.8 million in more than 7,900 scholarships to students from Chaves County and Artesia High School. Entering its 44th year, the fund is one of the longest-running scholarship opportunities for local students.

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First-time applicants for the Cowboy Bell Scholarship must be graduating seniors from any school in Chaves County or from Artesia High. Students are able to renew the scholarship for up to four consecutive years of study, as long as they maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and full-time enrollment.

It has been the tradition of the Cowboy Bell Scholarship to award all the money donated each year as scholarships the following academic year. Recently, awards have ranged from just $250 to a high of $800 per student, as determined by the number of applicants and donations received, according to the press release.

The committee was expecting smaller than usual awards to be available for 2021-2022.

There were 141 students awarded $500 each for the 2020-2021 academic year. Current recipients include students attending New Mexico colleges and universities — including New Mexico Military Institute — and many from across the country, including UNC-Wilmington, UCLA, University of Colorado, UTEP, Notre Dame and several University of Texas campuses.

Support for the scholarship fund is primarily from donations made in honor of, or memory of, loved ones. The vast majority of donors give less than $50 with a few large annual donations from ongoing supporters.

“The Cowboy Bell Scholarship Committee gratefully acknowledges the donation from First American Bank Trust and Wealth Management Division as well as all those from throughout the Pecos Valley,” the press release states. “The people and businesses of our community make it possible for the Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to area students as they pursue their dreams.”

The current scholarship application is available from the website of First United Methodist Church, www.fumc-roswell.org/cowboy-bell and the deadline is 9 a.m., Feb. 24.

Donations to the Cowboy Bell Scholarship Fund can be mailed to 200 N Pennsylvania Ave., Roswell, NM 88201.