(L-R, Sarah Kirchhofer and Sydney Waldoff)
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.
Sarah Kirchhofer is the recipient of the Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Teaching Scholarship. Sarah will attend Lake Land College in the fall and will major in elementary education.
Sydney Waldhoff received the Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Nursing Scholarship. Sydney will attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.