Lowell Phelps and his wife, Jeaninne Schenke, lifelong Colesburg residents, have left a lasting impact on Edgewood-Colesburg High School with a $400,000 donation to the Ed-Co Scholarship Fund.
When the money was donated earlier this year, a set of guidelines was provided.
“We definitely have a sense of pride knowing the good that this will do,” Janet Phelps, Lowell’s sister-in-law, said. “Our family values education.”
“This is a tremendous amount of money from a member of the community that Ed-Co school is very grateful for,” Dawn Voss, Edgewood-Colesburg Jr./Sr. High School Principal, said. “The kids will benefit greatly from this scholarship.”
A committee has been in place for over 30 years to help decide who the recipients of the scholarships, endowments and memorials will be. It is called the Greater Delaware County Community Foundation.
This group consists of teachers, community members, a school board member, and is guided by the school’s principal.
Neither Lowell or Jeaninne had an education past high school, but the family was aware of Lowell’s intentions to donate the money to the scholarship fund.
“Lowell had mentioned it toward the end, and we wanted to honor his wishes,” Janet Phelps said.
The couple spent their whole lives in the small town where Lowell worked as a carpenter. Janet said that he was a perfectionist and built several houses around town. They never had children and lived a simple life. Between their lifestyle and an inheritance from Jeaninne’s family, they decided to help others.
For most students, receiving some financial help often makes the decision if they will be going to college or not.
“As with any family, money is tight and any financial help to further their education and training is extremely beneficial,” Voss said.
Each year, the Edgewood-Colesburg Scholarship Fund helps many students. The final decisions are made in March and April.
“We wanted to make this public so more people realize that donating like this is an option,” Janet Phelps said. “There are always options”