Coos Bay, OR – The community giving group 100 Strong Bandon has joined with Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation to help students succeed, making a $2,375 donation to the Barbara Dodrill Scholarship.
It all started with a friend of Dodrill’s who wanted to honor the retired educator and good friend. Lynn Kellogg got to know Dodrill on a Habitat for Humanity trip to Guatemala years ago. She so admired her that while attending a Foundation scholarship event in 2019, Kellogg decided to create a one-time scholarship in Dodrill’s name.
Fast forward to August 2020 and Dodrill’s 93rd birthday. Her friends scheduled a drive-by birthday event in front of Dodrill’s Bandon home. Rather than give gifts, they encouraged friends and admirers to donate to the scholarship here at Southwestern. Soon, 100 Strong Bandon joined the fun.
The women’s volunteer group meets four times a year to raise funds for nonprofit charities that benefit Bandon-area residents. The group’s members chose to honor Dodrill, because she positively impacted many people over the years.
Helping students succeed
Having enrolled in college when she was 40, Dodrill went on to get her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She soon returned to SWOCC and in 1972 began teaching business and accounting. She earned recognition over four decades as an innovative instructor, retiring at 80. Early in her teaching career, she developed an office simulation course, and later she created accounting-focused computer training for her students.
After retiring from the college, she jumped into a real estate career for another five years. To this day, she occasionally meets former students in line at the grocery story and is pleased to see success in their lives. All the more reason Dodrill has been delighted by the new scholarship and community support around education.
“I absolutely loved teaching,” Dodrill said. “The important thing in life is education – education for our young people and seeing that future.”
Neighbors helping neighbors
The scholarship will assist two female college students 21 years or older demonstrating financial need. First priority for the scholarship is for a Bandon female resident.
“100 Strong Bandon is excited to support the Barbara Dodrill Scholarship at SWOCC. We believe this is an important tool to empower older female students from Bandon and help them succeed in their field of study, while honoring a Bandon role model,” said Julie Miller, group co-founder. “If we can mitigate the cost barrier of education for a student, we are thrilled to do so. Our goal is to make an impact on the lives of our local residents.”
These Bandon fundraising women are ensuring their community thrives in the future, too. Since the group’s founding in May 2017, members have contributed more than $42,000 and many volunteer hours to local charities benefiting Bandon residents – all accomplished in quarterly one-hour meetings. Founders Julie Miller and MaryAnn Soukup are excited about the impact of these funds within the community and spreading the idea of neighbors helping neighbors.