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River Bandits expand scholarship program

Quad Cities River BanditsIt already was one of the most unique team initiatives in MiLB, and now the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League) have brought in a new partner to expand the Bandit Scholars Program.

The Quad Cities River Bandits and the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend are new partners in supporting the expanding Bandit Scholars Program that awards two scholarships annually to Quad Cities-area high school seniors.

Through the partnership with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, donors can make online, tax-deductible donations to the Bandit Scholars Program by going to Fans can also click on the team’s website,, and be taken directly to the Bandit Scholars page on the Foundation’s website. The application deadline for 2014 has already passed, but beginning with the next scholarship application cycle in 2015, students will be able to submit their applications online through the Community Foundation’s website. Furthermore, students from eight Quad Cities-area counties — Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties of Illinois, and Cedar, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties of Iowa — are eligible for the two scholarships.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend to enhance and expand our Bandit Scholars Program,”said team owner Dave Heller. “It will now be easier than ever for fans and organizations to make tax-deductible donations to the program, easier than ever for talented students to apply, and easier for us to continue growing this unique scholarship program, which is one-of-a-kind in minor league baseball. The Community Foundation has an unmatched track record in supporting great causes throughout the region, and we are excited to continue making the dream of free college tuition real for more Quad Cities families.”

The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend has been active in the Quad Cities region for the past 50 years and helps donors support hundreds of local causes, including scholarship opportunities on both sides of the Mississippi River. The Community Foundation’s mission is simply stated: To better our community by connecting people who care with causes that matter. In 1994, the Davenport Area Foundation became the “The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend,” reflecting the growth as a regional resource for both charitable giving and civic engagement. As CFGRB celebrates its 50th anniversary, there is no longer one pooled fund. Instead, there are more than 900 distinct charitable funds, totaling more than $100 million in assets located in 13 affiliate community foundations that serve 17 counties in two states.

“The River Bandits are a vital part of this community. They bring excitement and family fun to the Quad Cities,” said Susan Skora, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation is pleased to partner with them as they bring education and internship opportunities to area students.”

The Bandit Scholars Program annually awards two scholarships to deserving area high school seniors. Each scholarship pays for the winner’s entire first year of tuition and includes a summer internship with the River Bandits following the winner’s first year of college.

River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Bob Herrfeldt founded the Bandit Scholars Program in 2009. The Keith Lucier Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of the late Keith Lucier, a team employee who passed away in 2009. The Lucier Scholarship and Bandit Scholars Program honors Keith’s strong belief in higher education and celebrates his love for sports, learning, charitable endeavors and the Quad Cities community. Lucier graduated from Bettendorf High School and the University of Iowa. He was the River Bandits’ Assistant General Manager in 2008.

The Keith Lucier Memorial Scholarship benefits a Quad Cities-area high school senior entering the University of Iowa and has been awarded annually to one Quad Cities-area high school senior since its inception. The Bandit Scholars Program expanded in 2012 with the addition of a second scholarship for an incoming freshman on the Illinois side at either Western Illinois University or Black Hawk College. The two 2014 scholarship winners will be announced and honored at the River Bandits’ June 15 home game at Modern Woodmen Park.


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