The Ray, Mary, and Tim Niebrugge Scholarships totaling $60,000 have been awarded to 30 students from high schools in Effingham County.

Altamont High School: Hannah Tappendorf

Beecher City High School: Kaylyn Moeller, Jacquelynne Witteborg, Olivia Witteborg

Dieterich High School: Emily Bloemer, Avriti Dogra, Mackenzie Miller

Effingham High School: Madison Blacker, Zoe Bridges, Reilly Durham, Maria Dust, Laurel Hirtzel, Autumn Rinkel

Teutopolis High School: Anna Buhnerkempe, Logan Blankenship, Alex Deters, Taylor Hartke, Lilly Hemmen, Courtney Hoene, Leah Jansen, Benjamin Kitten, Donovan Kitten, Megan McMahon, Molly Niemerg, Jessica Runde, Grace Schumacher, Madeline Thoele, Brock Vogt, Lydia Walker, Ethan Wiedner

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 gifted the farm 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 almost $450,000 in scholarships over the past 11 years. The Fields of Opportunity program will ensure that scholarship funds will continue to be made in perpetuity.

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation manages more than 180 affiliated funds for the immediate and long-term benefit of communities in southeastern Illinois. For more information, contact Amanda Lessley, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, at 217-342-4988 or amanda@enrichingourcommunity.org.

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