History of Awarding Scholarships and formation of the IEF Foundation


In years past, many Illuminators were in opposition to offering scholarships due to the original purpose of supplying the “Entertainment” only and “Spreading the Lite of Good Fellowship”.

Not giving up, they continued to have some very “Heated” discussions throughout the years to follow with no success to get the Scholarship Program approved. There was one specific Officer who was strongly opposed and was not supportive of the program moving forward, even though the majority were in agreement. Until the one day in 1985, when the opposing member, missed a Board meeting. The scholarship motion was represented at that meeting and accepted by all! Thusly, the first Illuminator scholarship was approved and graciously donated in the amount of $500 which was proudly awarded by Dimmed Headlite, Ray Keefer (1968 Headlite). Members later agreed to each donate $25 annually to start building the fund to continue in perpetuity. The first $25 was offered by Mr. Hal Adams, a current Board member who later become Headlite in 1992!

1985 through 1988 – the first scholarship was awarded followed annually at $500
1989 through 1994 – two scholarships were awarded
1995 – three scholarships were awarded, etc, etc . . .

In 2006, current Headlite Mr. Bob Kelly and Sidelite Vic Chiono, presented the recommendation to the Illuminators Board to form the Foundation. This will now prepare and support the Organization in a legal manner to solicit, accept and distribute funds to promote scholarships annually and in perpetuity. The motion was unanimously approved. After much research, legal assistance, and due diligence, the Illuminators Educational Foundation was formed as a 501c3 Foundation and was officially incorporated on January 30, 2007. Paul Christianson was elected and presided as the first President and Chairperson of the Illuminators Educational Foundation.

It took many years to increase and raise donations to establish a fund that would support a perpetual scholarship program for many years to follow. Gradually each year the mission was to increase the amount to be awarded, and this remains the mission and goal of the IEF today!

Total scholarships awarded through 2014 are estimated at $30,000, increasing to $77,000 in 2015 and it continues to increase or maintain every year thereafter.

TOTAL Scholarships awarded through 2021 total $1,012,500 per the chart below

Scholarships Available Annual Awards
Through 2013 $30,000
2013-2014 $77,000
2014-2015 $90,500
2015-2016 $103,500
2016-2017 $130,000
2017-2018 $135,000
2018-2019 $136,000
2019-2020 $152,500
2020-2021 $157,500
Award to date $1,012,000
2021-2022 $157,500
To be Awarded 2022-2023 $169,500

Total Scholarships Awarded

Type Amount Awarded Total Dollars
All offered through 2013 $500 60 $30,000
Community College $500 48 $24,000
Community College $1,000 73 $73,000
Personal $1,000 16 $16,000
Academic $2,500 154 $385,000
Adversity $2,500 67 $167,500
Graduate $5,000 2 $10,000
Torch Award $5,000 1 $5,000
Memorial $10,000 3 $10,000
Total Individual Scholarships Awarded 424 $720,500
CGA $10,000 2 $20,000
CGA $12,000 6 $72,000
WAFC $25,000 8 $200,000
In Support of Partnership Foundations 16 $292,000
Total Awarded $1,012,500

$157,500 in Scholarships to be Awarded in 2022
50 Individual Scholarships
3 Individual “Special Recognition” Scholarships to be Awarded
2 Partnership Awards to be presented

Presiding President

Year Presiding President Company
2007-2010 Paul Christianson Christianson West
2010-2012 Bob Kelly Hidden Villa
2012-2016 Vic Chiono Coca Cola
2016-2020 Mickie Sharp-Villanueva the Performance Group
2020-2022 Willie Crocker Bimbo Bakeries USA