Giving Matters
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Giving Matters

Holland Public Schools

HPS Edna Mae Haworth Scholarship Reserve Fund

In the spring of 2019, Holland Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Davis received an extraordinary letter in the mail. The letter shared news of a $100,000 gift to Holland Public Schools (HPS) from the estate of local philanthropist Edna (Eddie) Mae Haworth. The gift, described as, “a tangible expression of how strongly Edna felt about your mission and the good work you do in Holland,” came with no restrictions. Instead, Eddie requested that HPS consider the values of responsibility, generosity, and humility when they developed a plan for what to do with the funds.

Brian said, “It was a complete surprise. We know the long-lasting impact and legacy the Haworth family has had, and will continue to have, on the Holland/Zeeland area. Eddie was a former English teacher, school counselor, and assistant principal, so we were honored that she chose to include HPS in her estate. The next question was, how do we pay this forward and ensure this gift has a lasting impact?”

As a Bridge Builder, Brian was very familiar with the donor services offered by the Community Foundation. He also appreciated their focus on education, youth, and leadership.

“The Community Foundation is an organization of the highest integrity and trust. We could have kept the gift in-house but creating this fund at CFHZ capitalized on other resources available to us, including publicity and visibility around educational awards.”

The Holland Public Schools Edna Mae Haworth Scholarship Reserve Fund was established at CFHZ to ensure that Eddie’s generous donation would have an impact on future generations of students. Brian explained, “Each year at our honors convocation there is an opportunity to recognize students who have received scholarships. Some of those students are receiving monetary awards, but some are simply being recognized for their character without any financial benefit tied to that. We wanted to use Eddie’s gift to recognize students who stand out in different ways; those who might not qualify for typical scholarships but who have made contributions to the district.”

HPS decided to give six monetary awards to graduating seniors. Those six awards are determined by the Holland Public Schools Board; the HPS Superintendent; the Holland High School Principal; Holland Early College; Holland Virtual Tech; and long-time volunteer Mary Butler who selects one student for her Math Award. Students are suggested for these awards by the counseling and teaching staff.

Reflecting on the first year of awards, Brian said, “It has been rewarding to partner with CFHZ in establishing this fund. We were able to honor Eddie’s legacy and recognize some truly outstanding students. We’re looking forward to what the future will bring.”

Originally featured in the Community Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report. While this was written by CFHZ’s Communications Associate Ellie Davis in 2020, we believe that stories of generosity are timeless and always relevant.

To learn more about nonprofit endowment funds, visit



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