McKINNEY (Dec. 11, 2013) – A $2,225,000 bequest from the Elisabeth W. Garrison Charitable Trust to the McKinney Education Foundation – the largest in the history of the 23-year-old non-profit organization – was announced Tuesday night at a special reception honoring Garrison, local civic leader and philanthropist.
Elisabeth’s daughter, Denise Holthaus, made the announcement at the reception hosted by MEF Board of Trustees, The Sanctuary Music and Events Venue, First Bank, Sterling Events & Catering, Alphagraphics and Encore Wire. Following the announcement, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller proclaimed Dec. 10 as Elisabeth W. Garrison Charitable Giving Day, dedicated to her leadership and support of the young men and women of McKinney.
When describing her Mom, Holthaus explained, “She supported several local charities including The Samaritan Inn and Meals on Wheels. She was a giver, and she gave because she could. The greatest gift she gave us was love, and she believed in living life to the fullest, loving with all your heart, and giving freely.”
An advocate of education, Elisabeth and her husband, Ben A. Garrison, first established a $100,000 endowment with MEF in 2005. Edie Heinicke, MEF Executive Director explained, “Over the years, interest from the original endowment has allowed MEF to distribute $45,500 in scholarships. With this new generous gift, MEF will now be able to award between $60,000 and $70,000 in scholarships annually, ensuring that students in McKinney who want to attend college will have the means to do. We are grateful to the Garrison family for allowing MEF to honor Mrs. Garrison tonight for her perpetual generosity and support of MEF.”
Hal Harbor, MEF Board of Trustees President stated, "Because of the incredible gift from Elisabeth Garrison, MEF will be able to provide financial assistance to a greater number of students in McKinney who want to attend college for years to come. While the gift is the largest to date that MEF has ever received, the gift's impact on the lives of so many students will be immeasurable. We are truly fortunate and very appreciative that Elisabeth felt so strongly about helping students further their education."
Garrison had been diagnosed with Melanoma and passed in August of 2013. Her family has recently established the Elisabeth W. Garrison Melanoma Foundation to raise awareness about skin cancer in her memory. Carrying on the family matriarch’s philosophy, the organization’s mission is “Live. Love. Give. Protect Your Skin.”
Elisabeth Garrison is survived by her children, Brian Andersen and wife Laurie of Trenton, Denise Holthaus and husband Randy of McKinney and Mark Andersen and wife Mary of Palo Pinto; grandchildren, Brooke Richardson and husband Tyler and Colby Carroll, all of McKinney; great-grandchildren, Aiden and Cooper; and by her first husband and father of her children, Dennis Andersen. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ben Albert Garrison.
- The McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation that serves four core functions: scholarships, college applications, teaching enrichment and alumni relations.
- It was founded in 1991 to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates of the McKinney Independent School District (MISD). In 2013, MEF awarded $370,000 in scholarships.
- MEF employs professional college advisors in each high school who assist students in preparing for higher education admissions and identifying additional individual education funding. The MEF Advisor Program has helped MISD graduates secure over $54 million in outside scholarship money during last eight years.
- MEF also offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff. In 2012, MEF distributed over $61,000 in Classroom Grants to MISD teachers.
About the McKinney Education Foundation
The McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation that serves four core functions: scholarships, college applications, teaching enrichment and alumni relations. It was founded in 1991 to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates of the McKinney Independent School District (MISD). MEF employs professional college advisors in each high school who assist students in preparing for higher education admissions and identifying additional individual education funding. MEF also offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff. Contribute to the Mission: “To provide the highest quality of education in McKinney, Texas, our mission is to inspire students and teachers towards excellence in education. We envision a future where a passion for learning unleashes the full potential of our community.” For more information visit MmEeFf.com.