CLEARFIELD – An area teacher’s legacy of education will continue through a scholarship program initiated by her daughter.
While Martha “Marty” Clarke of Clearfield was losing her battle with cancer, her daughter, Rachel, wanted to honor her and decided an annual scholarship would be the best way to do that.
“My mom was a teacher for 35.5 years,” Rachel Clarke explained. This is a way for her to continue to educate students.
Marty Clarke passed away in early October.
Gregg Clarke is surprised about how Rachel has taken on the task of raising money for the fund and said he thought Rachel came up with the idea “so something about her (mother) would stay alive.”
The Marty Clarke Scholarship Fund is still in the early stages of development, but Rachel has already arranged several fundraisers, including a 5K Run, a bake sale and a dart tournament. The 5K Run held in September had 53 participants and raised more than $1,100. Many of the runners wore T-shirts with “Team Clarke” on them.
In addition to the fundraisers, funds came from donations from friends, family and former students after Clarke passed away. Gregg stated people “were very generous” and the donations, even though some were small, began to add up. Rachel has raised a total of more than $6,000.
Unsure of how to establish a scholarship fund, Gregg explained he started by talking with Vicki Myers at Clearfield Bank and Trust Company. He wasn’t sure if they needed set up a non-profit organization or if a lawyer should be consulted.
Myers suggested the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation, which answered many of his questions.
“We didn’t have to do anything else, just step under their umbrella,” Gregg said.
The CCCF handles the accounting and paper work, he explained, and sends out acknowledgements to those donating to the fund. This way all of the money goes straight into the fund, which he said is “almost magical.”
Once the capital fund is established, a scholarship will be awarded to a Clearfield Area High School senior who is planning on majoring in education.
Rachel has ideas for more events beginning in the spring. She is grateful for the help she has received and especially for Molly Yeager, who has played a bit part in the previous events.
“I could not do any event without her,” she said.
If anyone has any ideas of ways to raise money for the fund or would like to help out on future fundraisers, Rachel encourages them to contact her at 814-765-7738.
Gregg stated that he is proud of his daughter for her efforts and for stepping into a leadership role in raising money.
“In Rachel’s heart, this way her mother is still teaching,” Gregg stated.
Donations for the Marty Clarke Scholarship Fund can be sent to the CCCF at P.O. Box 1442, Clearfield, PA 16830 or you can donate through the Web site:.
Established in 2004, the Clearfield County Charitable Foundation is one of more than 300 community foundations in the United States, and its purpose is to enhance the quality of life in Clearfield County through the support of services that promote health, education, social welfare, public and urban affairs, arts and culture, conservation and the environment.