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Florence Rotary Club established endowment fund for GCTC in honor of John and Connie Salyers

Gateway Community and Technical College on Thursday announced that Florence Rotary Club has established an endowment fund in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John and Connie Salyers. The gift will help support eligible Gateway students with emergency funds to assist them with critical needs.

The John and Connie Salyers Florence Rotary Club Hand Up Fund will exist in perpetuity with a purpose to assist eligible students — who are NKY residents — with emergency needs while they are enrolled in a program leading to a diploma, degree, or certificate at Gateway. John Salyers was a long time Rotarian, who passed away in 2020, followed shortly by Connie Salyers, his wife of 50 years, who passed away several months later.

John and Connie Salyers

“Our parents were very strong in their faith, and it propelled them to love people in all walks of life. From trips that our father took as a Rotarian to Africa to help eradicate polio, to the ministry our mother served with to help women find a pathway in life after living and working on the streets, they never missed an opportunity to help someone in need,” said Beth Salyers Barker and Meredith Salyers Lewis, daughters of the late Connie and John Salyers.

Often, an unplanned expense such as a higher-than-expected utility bill, a car repair, food insecurity, etc. can send students into a tailspin, missing coursework while they pick up extra work shifts. Wrap-around services, including The John & Connie Salyers Florence Rotary Club Hand Up Fund, ensure student retention, persistence, and timely graduation.

“This incredible philanthropy from the Florence Rotary Club members honors the legacy of John and Connie Salyers, who were pillars of our community,” said Dr. Fernando Figueroa, Gateway president. “The Salyers Hand Up Fund will provide a tremendous aid to our students, and by extension, our community as our students graduate into better jobs and careers.”

The Salyers’ children are so appreciative of the Florence Rotary’s gesture too: “[Our parents] were giant proponents of higher education. Mom was a middle school teacher for 40 years and both were very big fans of the Northern Kentucky University Norse. This Gateway program is a perfect way to combine both of their loves by giving a hand up to students who have an unexpected barrier to their education. They would be honored to know that their compassion for the world can continue through this endowment. It gives so much joy to both of us to see them remembered in such an uplifting and positive way. Thank you to all those who have made this possible, from the bottom of our hearts.”

“This has been an incredible journey; we’re going to be able to help future generations right here in Northern Kentucky with ‘hand up’ support for years to come, and that is what John and Corrine’s lives were all about,” said Duane Froelicher, the immediate past president of the Florence Rotary Club. “The Club’s efforts brought about the member and community giving that established this endowment.”

Anyone interested in contributing to this fund, or establishing one of their own, may contact the Development Department at (859)442-1177 or email adrijana.kowatsch@kctcs.edu. All support is tax deductible and 100% of contributions are used for the purpose for which they are given.

Gateway Community and Technical College

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