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October 2014 Check Presentation

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

 lenfestey check

 Touching the lives of others in a meaningful way that frees each human spirit to soar to its highest potential – that is the ultimate goal of a life well lived. And a shining example of this dedicated and giving spirit was embodied by Polk State College’s founding president, Dr. Fred Lenfestey.

Dr. Lenfestey’s vision and hard work during his 18-year presidency and subsequent support for the College resonates fifty years later, making an indelible impact on our College and our community. He passionately lived his belief that anyone with the desire to learn should have access to an education, and oversaw the creation of the Polk State College Foundation in 1976.

Now, this incredible legacy is being honored in a profoundly meaningful way by the Rotary Club of Winter Haven, another institution where Dr. Lenfestey made his mark, by establishing the Dr. Fred Lenfestey Endowed Scholarship at Polk State College.

After the passing of Dr. Lenfestey in 2013, and in anticipation of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2014, this group of Rotarians conceived of the idea and voted unanimously to provide the $18,000 in seed money to establish the scholarship. This was in honor of his 18 years of service, with the ultimate goal to raise $50,000 in honor of the College’s 50years.

Since then, the Rotary’s passionate dedication to this cause and hard work resulted in their raising of the initial $18,000 in record time, and working diligently with the Foundation and College to help to continue to raise the ultimate goal of $50,000.

On October 27, 2014, at a check presentation at the Polk State College Board of Trustees meeting, President of the Winter Haven Rotary Eddie Allen was in attendance to present this initial check.

Bonnie Parker, Development Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors and also a member of the Winter Haven Rotary Club, introduced Allen. She expressed heartfelt gratitude for the enormous honor he and his fellow Rotary members were bestowing upon Dr. Lenfestey and the College, and for helping Polk students attain their dream of a college degree.

This special day was also graced by the presence of Dr. Lenfestey’s daughter, Eve Lenfestey, in the audience. She was honored to be there to witness this wonderful tribute being paid to her father and his legacy.

In addition to being an incredible leader, visionary and philanthropist, Dr. Lenfestey’s warm and generous heart shone through to everyone who knew him, Allen said.

“He was a vibrant member of the Rotary Club, who endeared himself to everybody,” said Allen.

“The Rotary club encourages us to use first names, and he made it very easy,” he added. “He made every person feel comfortable. He was genuinely interested in what anyone had to say.”

He added that Fred Lenfestey epitomized the principles of truth, fairness, goodwill, and acting in a way that benefits all persons that Rotarians strive to uphold in all relationships.

This big-hearted man was also known for his story telling, and in keeping with this, the Foundation and College are inviting everyone who has a story about Fred and/or Polk State to share it on polk.edu/50.

Transforming the lives of students through a scholarship in his name is the ultimate way to pay tribute to Dr. Lenfestey’s incredible legacy, according to Allen.

“There is no better way to honor him,” he said.

Pictured left to right: Eve Lenfestey, Bonnie Parker, Mustapha Achoubane, Eddie Allen, Steve Elias, Dr. Eileen Holden, Mark G. Turner, Dan Dorrell, Teresa Martinez, Greg Littleton and Linda Pilkington.