Over the last 35 years, the economy has had its ups and downs, and Valley’s “economy” has been no different. In order to prepare the school for any and all financial situations in the future, we started The VCHS Endowment Fund on February 9, 2015.
An endowment fund offers donors a long-term giving opportunity, allowing financial gifts to bless the school many times over. Each year, the school is able to pull some of the net gains out of the fund, while the principal continues to grow through generous gifts.
How the VCS Endowment Fund got started
Although a school endowment fund had been discussed for years, it took a generous gift by one of the original Valley families to put the VCS Endowment Fund in motion. The family of graduate Heather Bilodeau ’88 – a member of our 3rd graduating class – maintained a passion for Christian education and for Valley Christian, and they decided to leave a legacy through a planned gift. “Dad firmly believed in the value of Christian education and made it a priority in the household budget so that I was able to go to Christian schools from pre-school through high school,” Heather reflected. “I appreciated both his commitment to that and also the excellent level of education I received at Valley Christian.”
Thank you to the Bilodeau family for the planned gifts of $27,277.10, which helped to launch the VCS Endowment Fund.
Endowment Fund Balance
as of June 2019
Al Nelson Endowment Scholarship
Shortly before Mr. Nelson passed, he told those who were helping with his care, “I wish I had $100,000 to give to the school for a math scholarship.” And as much as Mr. Nelson loved and excelled at math, he didn’t think he had anything to give to the school.
Right around the time of his death, his power of attorney and executor discovered that Mr. Nelson had some money in a 401(k) and a pension plan. After talking to his financial institutions, the school was offered a payout of his 401(k) and pension. The total we are receiving from Mr. Nelson’s estate: more than $120,000.
In July 2018, VCS established the Al Nelson Endowment Scholarship fund in his honor. This scholarship fund will assist a graduating or current student pursuing a math or STEM career, fields near and dear to Mr. Nelson’s heart. Thank you, Mr. Nelson, for leaving such a wonderful legacy at VCS.
Belinda Miller Memorial Scholarship
The Belinda Miller Memorial Scholarship testifies to the legacy and generosity of VCS grandparent, Belinda Miller. Belinda passed in November 2018 at the age of 64. She is lovingly remembered by her husband of many years, Tim Miller, as well as her children, Heather (Michael) and Brandon (Brittni), as well as many grandchildren, including current VCS students as of the time of the Fund’s establishment.
Tim and Belinda shared a firm belief in Christ as their Savior and of the value of Christian education. After Belinda’s passing, Tim asked for the opportunity to begin an annual scholarship in Belinda’s name to bless a family who may otherwise not be able to attend VCS. The Belinda Miller Memorial Scholarship is the method the School has chosen to honor that request.
Justin Kyle Lett, “Dream Then Do, in the Name of the Lord,” Memorial Scholarship
The Justin Kyle Lett, “Dream Then Do, in the Name of the Lord,” Memorial Scholarship testifies to the legacy and spirit of VCHS alumnus, Justin Lett, Class of 2007.
The Lett family and the VCS community lost Justin suddenly in 2018 at the young age of 28. The Lett family worked with VCS to start this fund in honor of Justin and his love for God, people, and the gift that is life. Justin truly lived with passion for every moment, cultivating relationships, investing in those people, and making precious memories with beautiful and eternal consequences in all our lives. Justin graduated with honors from Samford University in 2011, with a double major in marketing and entrepreneurship. He had the innate natural giftedness to imagine and create, a gift he was steadily harnessing. Justin dreamt up, penned, and consistently lived out every day the phrase “Dream then Do, in the Name of the Lord.”
If you would like to give a gift to any of the above scholarships, you may do so using the form below.
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Got a Question or Comment?
Contact Troy Thelen in the Development office at
Phone: (480) 705-8888 X 224
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