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Living legacy benefits Bremerton students

College just became more affordable for generations of Bremerton Schools students, thanks to a memorial scholarship fund set up as a living legacy trust. Over $60,000 will be shared by 33 recipients this year, with an estimated $80,000 coming in subsequent years.

The fund is the gift of Henry and Elsinor Groth, and Elsinor’s brother, Wayne Elder. Elder and Henry Groth were civilian federal workers at the Keyport Undersea Weapons Station and the Naval Shipyard respectively, and Elsinor worked with Kitsap Physicians Service and was active with the local Literacy Council. Having no descendants, the trio established the scholarship fund for graduates of the Bremerton School District in the form of a trust worth an estimated $2 million.

The fund was established within the last couple of months, and dramatically increases the number of students who will receive aid.

“It created a good problem to have,” said Bremerton High School counselor, Chris Swanson. “To be able to award 33 scholarships that weren’t available last year, that was a lot of fun. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen very often.”

This year’s recipients will receive from $500 to $3,500 depending on need, and were chosen by a committee made up of teachers and staff, an administrator, and two members of Project Reach. Award winners were selected based on economic need, academic merit and civic involvement.

The best part of this trust is its perpetual nature, with the interest earnings keeping it funded indefinitely. The trust will be managed by American Marine Bank.

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