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October 22, 2021

Recipients Named for Bruce Penwell, Jr. Nursing Scholarship and the Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Teaching Scholarship

Haley Jo Evans is the recipient of the 2021 Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Nursing Scholarship. Haley will attend Lake Land College to pursue a degree in Nursing.

Zaryah Smith is the recipient of the 2021 Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Teaching Scholarship. Zaryah will attend Greenville College to pursue a degree in Secondary Education.

Bruce Penwell, Jr. was born in Pana, Illinois and graduated from Beecher City High School. He attended University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and worked in sales and marketing in the animal health industry. After living and working for several years in Raleigh, North Carolina, he has now retired to St. Joseph, Michigan. However, Penwell has never forgotten his ties in Effingham and Shelby counties, even when living on the other side of the country.

In 2016, Penwell established the Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Designated Fund to support organizations located in Effingham, Beecher City, Shelbyville and Pana. A portion of his fund is dedicated to two scholarships for Beecher City High School graduates. One scholarship supports students majoring in education in memory of Mabel Laue, a former Beecher City Elementary School teacher. The second scholarship provides financial support to students pursuing a nursing degree, in memory of Elva Jennings Penwell. The Penwell fund awarded its first scholarships (each valued at $3,000) in May 2017.

Bruce Penwell, Jr. is just one of the number of people who have set up funds to give back to their community, even when they no longer live locally. To learn more about setting up a fund to support your hometown, call 217.342.4988 or visit

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