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$500,000 donation to create scholarships for Spokane community college students in high-demand fields

UPDATED: Tue., July 21, 2020

Spokane Community College is seen on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation says a $500,000 donation from a local charity will provide $4,000 scholarships to more than 100 students over the next five years.  (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Community College is seen on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation says a $500,000 donation from a local charity will provide $4,000 scholarships to more than 100 students over the next five years. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation says a $500,000 donation from a local charity will provide $4,000 scholarships to more than 100 students over the next five years.

The gift came from the Krumble Foundation, a Spokane-based charity founded last year by Burke and Muriel Blevins, according to the CCS Foundation.

The CCS Foundation said the money will go to students in high-demand programs with ample job opportunities, including the nursing program at Spokane Community College and the physical therapy assistant program at Spokane Falls Community College.

“The ripple effect that will be felt throughout our community as a result of these scholarships will be immeasurable,” Sharon Robertson, the CCS Foundation’s donor relations manager, said in a statement. “These students will have the opportunity to earn a college education and move into meaningful employment.”

Burke Blevins was the president and CEO of Spokane-based VPI Quality Windows until last spring, when it was acquired by a Charlotte, North Carolina-based manufacturing company, JELD-WEN. He is now a vice president of VPI.

“When we had our business, we used employment as a way to help individuals and our community prosper,” Blevins said in a statement. “Now that we no longer have the business, we have established the Krumble Foundation to help the Spokane community by supporting motivated individuals in need as they complete their education and improve their earning power.”

The Krumble Foundation also has supported students at Eastern Washington University through small grants that help pay tuition and fees and stipends of up to $3,000 for those working in unpaid internships, according to EWU’s website.

The CCS Foundation said it provided more than $437,000 in scholarships and emergency assistance to students last year. It will begin taking applications in August for Krumble Foundation scholarships for the fall quarter.

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