The good folks at Marquis Energy in Hennepin might have thought they were only supporting science, math and agricultural education at five area schools when they chose to donate $50,000 apiece last week to Bureau Valley, Hall, Princeton, Putnam County and St. Bede.
Indeed, the combined impact on education of Marquis Energy’s total bequest of $250,000 will be profound and far-reaching in the classroom and beyond.
The BCR asked representatives from all five schools about their reactions, and what they intended to do with the funds, and we got pretty much the same answers.
All five were overwhelmed by the generous gifts.
All five intend to use the money to bolster their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) offerings, at the request of Marquis Energy. In fact, St. Bede has a big project toward which its leaders plan to apply the donation: the construction of its new $6.5 million science building, with an anticipated completion date of May 1.
But members of the Marquis family at Marquis Energy have done more than donate generously toward education.
They provided a vivid example of the virtue of charitable giving.
This virtue can be cultivated at the highest levels, but also among those with less means.
This time of year, opportunities are plentiful to practice charitable giving.
• Food pantries are always looking for donations, both in canned, nonperishable items and monetary gifts.
• If they haven’t begun ringing their bells yet, Salvation Army volunteers will soon do so, inviting shoppers to dig into their pockets and purses and give to this good cause.
• Christmas for Kids is conducting a toy drive for newborns through eighth-graders through Dec. 7, and donations are being sought at more than 30 collection points across Bureau County. Children in Princeton, LaMoille, Malden, Ohio, Neponset, Wyanet, Sheffield, Buda and Manlius will benefit. (By the way, we have a Christmas for Kids box in the lobby of the Bureau County Republican, 800 Ace Road, Princeton; we invite you to drop by with your donations during weekday business hours.)
• The Bureau County United Way is conducting its annual fund drive to support 12 human service agencies. The goal is $105,000. The mailing address: Bureau County United Way, P.O. Box 73, Princeton, IL 61356.
• Want to give something, but money’s a bit tight? Give the gift of life – blood. There are two blood drives next week. One is from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley. The other is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Perry Memorial Hospital’s White Oaks Classroom in Princeton; call Cathy Foes at PMH, 815-876-4481, for details.
Because of Marquis Energy’s generosity, area students will benefit by expanding their minds through scientific and technical knowledge.
They’ve also received a timely lesson about the importance of cultivating a giving heart.