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Cloverdale Community Dollars For Scholars - Robert Steele Family Scholarship

Back row left to right:  Lora Steele, Ross Steele, Laurie Steele, Kelly Steele Hughes, Sam Hughes, Archer Hughes (being held), and Ava Steele. Front row:  Pam & Bob Steele.

Year Founded
2015

Purpose of Fund
The primary purpose of the Fund shall be to provide financial support to Cloverdale Community Dollars for Scholars, operating under the umbrella of Scholarship America's 501(c)(3).

History of Fund
Robert and Pam Steele were both born in Putnam County and have family roots in the community. Robert lived in Cloverdale throughout his childhood and graduated from Cloverdale High School in 1971. Pam on the other hand was born here then moved to Indianapolis and graduated form Howe High School. The couple decided that the best way for them to give back was to create a scholarship fund in alliance with the Cloverdale Dollars for Scholars in the hopes that their donation could impact students for many years to come.

Robert went to Hanover College and knows the struggles some students have to gain an education. He says that if it was not for state funded scholarships he would not have been able to go to the school of his choice. Pam is also familiar with education as she went on after high school to become a nurse. Both of them agreed that they wanted to start giving back what they could when the opportunity presented itself. They were very inspired by the Tuckers, who had previously created an endowment with the Cloverdale Dollars for Scholars, to leave a legacy in Putnam County. When the family created this fund they took advantage of a Putnam County Community Foundation match which guaranteed their gift would make a larger impact. Robert and Pam said that they are not wealthy but they believe that “everybody wants to make a difference somewhere” and education was where they wanted to start.

The story of how Robert and Pam began their philanthropy work is a unique one. In grade school Robert was receiving paid lunches, and years later went back to Cloverdale with a check hoping to pay that money back, as he spoke with the superintendent they decided Robert could make a larger impact by donating to scholarships. That is how their great work started, now the family is involved with The Cloverdale and Tri West Dollars for Scholars as well as their churches scholarship program. They believe that it is very rewarding how their success can give someone else the opportunity to do the same.

Robert and Pam are now building a summer home in Cloverdale down the road from his childhood farm. They enjoy coming back and watching Cloverdale basketball games and catching up with old friends. Family is also very important to Robert and Pam they very much enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. They also enjoy getting to see their impact on graduating seniors; Robert has spoken at many graduations and presented scholarships to students. They both hope that by creating this endowment their vision and donations can multiply and be used for many years to come.

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