Niebrugge Scholarship awards $40,000 to Effingham County graduates

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation announced the 2019 recipients of the Ray, Mary, and Tim Niebrugge Scholarship. Scholarships totaling $40,000 have been awarded to 32 students:

Altamont High School - Ashley Goeckner (2018), Shelby Tolbot (2018); Beecher City High School - Allie Stell (2019), Olivia Witteborg (2018); Effingham High School - Kaylie Allred (2018), Madison Blacker (2018), Zoe Bridges (2018), Megan Bushue (2019), Mikenzi Bushue (2019), Sadie Bushur (2018) Alyssa Cunningham (2017), Reilly Durham (2018), Maria Dust (2018), Brynn Flack (2017), Haidyn Lewis (2019), Tara Torres (2017), Anna Wines (2016); St. Anthony High School - Alexander Brandenburger (2019); Teutopolis High School - Logan Blankenship (2019), Mikayla Blankenship (2019), Audra Breer (2017), Tyler Deters (2019), Abigail Flach (2019), Alexander Hartke (2017), Garrett Hartke (2017), Courtney Hoene (2018), Leah Jansen (2018), Kayla Kroeger (2016), Jacob Metter (2016), Abigail Schmidt (2019), Andres Trevino (2019), Kate Volk (2019).

The Ray, Mary and Tim Niebrugge Scholarship is open to all current students and alumni of high schools in Effingham County. It was established by Tim Niebrugge, the son of Ray and Mary Niebrugge of Green Creek. Ray Niebrugge inherited a tract of land from his father, John, and continued reinvesting in the farm for more than 40 years. Tim farmed the ground after his parents passed away until his own death on Sept. 22, 2006. Tim was never married and had no children. Tim established this trust to help Effingham County students with financial need continue their education.

The Niebrugge Farm was the first gift of farmland through the Community Foundation's Fields of Opportunity program. Fields of Opportunity puts the Community Foundation in a unique position to receive and retain gifts of farmland and use the available income to benefit local charities that make the community a stronger and better place to live. Retaining local ownership of farmland means wealth generated stays with local tenants, circulating throughout the community.

The fund has awarded $343,000 in scholarships over the past 10 years. The Fields of Opportunity program will ensure that scholarship funds will continue to be made in perpetuity.

For more information regarding the Ray, Mary, and Tim Niebrugge Scholarship, visit For more information on the Fields of Opportunity program, visit or call Amanda Lessley, President/CEO, at 217.342.5409.

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation was established in 2009 as a result of a merger between Effingham County Community Foundation (est. 1999) and Mattoon Area Community Foundation (est. 1980). Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managing permanent and non-permanent assets for the long-term benefit of communities in southeastern Illinois.

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