Fairfield award, scholarship deadlines next week

MEEKER I The deadline is rapidly approaching for non-profit, governmental or educational entities interested in applying for funds through the semi-annual Freeman E. Fairfield Trust grant process.
All applications for the trust funds must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1. They may be mailed to Post Office Box 2302, Meeker, Colo., 81641 or delivered to Diane Dunham, 438 E. Market St., Meeker, 81641.
Application forms are available from Dunham or any Fairfield committee member.
The deadline is also getting near for scholarship applications to be submitted by Meeker High School seniors.
That deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The applications may also be mailed to P.O. Box 2302 or delivered to the front desk at First National Bank of the Rockies. Again, the applications must be received, not postmarked, by Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Fairfield died Aug. 8, 1967, and his will set aside $2 million for the benefit of the people of Meeker and the surrounding area. The fund also was used to pay off the Freeman E. Fairfield Center in Meeker.
When the center was completed, trust board members began awarding the funds coming from the interest paid on the $2 million endowment to non-profit, governmental or educational entities in and around Meeker.
The interest also funds the scholarships awarded to Meeker-area high school seniors.
“This is probably the most important function of the trust,” board member Diane Dunham said. “Students fill out their applications, which are looked over by a committee. The deserving students then receive the funds they don’t have to pay back to help pay for college.”
The students are allowed to go to any two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school of their choice anywhere in the United States, Dunham said.
Approximately $175,000 has been earmarked for giving away this year, she said.
The amount to be given away depends on the economy, she said, explaining that markets and other factors determine how much interest the original trust funds have gained.
The peak of trust allocations came in 2006, when just in excess of $300,000 was awarded, with roughly $112,000 being awarded last year.
“There are several factors that determine how much money is awarded” Dunham said. “There are times that not all of the money is awarded because all requests have been met and there have been times when we had money left over from a previous year, so more money was allocated.”