Some good news for the day: The Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) are expanding the Bandit Scholars Program with the addition of a third Bandit Scholarship, which will be open annually to Quad Cities-area students entering Augustana College.
River Bandits owner Dave Heller and Augustana College President Steve Bahls announced at a press conference Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park.
The new annual scholarship will be awarded beginning with the high school class of 2016. Like the two other annual Bandit Scholarships awarded to Quad Cities-area high school or home-schooled seniors, the new scholarship will be paid directly to the college and will supplement the grants and scholarships (if any) the recipient has earned ensuring the student’s first year of tuition will be covered at no expense to them or their families. All three annual Bandit Scholarship winners will also enjoy a summer internship with the River Bandits following their first year of college.
“This great partnership with Augustana College is a true win-win in every sense,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “Augustana will have a student each year earn an internship opportunity with first-hand experience with a first-rate professional sports organization, and the River Bandits will be able to continue to offer internships to the very best and brightest students in our region, while each year helping another Quad Cities-area family afford college.”
The Bandit Scholarships are open to current high school or home-schooled seniors who reside in any of the following counties: Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties on the Illinois side, and Cedar, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties on the Iowa side. The recipients are selected by a committee made up of community leaders, River Bandits ownership and staff and volunteers of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB), which administers the scholarships.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Quad Cities River Bandits and other organizations who help fund scholarships for Augustana students,” said Augustana College President Steve Bahls. “The River Bandits are a great partner for Augustana and the entire Quad Cities.”
The Bandit Scholars Program was founded in 2009 by Quad Cities River Bandits team owners Dave Heller and Bob Herrfeldt. In addition to the new scholarship awarded to a student entering Augustana College, one scholarship is awarded annually to a student entering the University of Iowa, and another to a student entering either Black Hawk College or Western Illinois University.
The scholarships are funded by fan donations and fund-raising efforts by the River Bandits and the team’s ownership. Fundraising events include the annual Bandits Race to Home 5K and River Bandits golf outing. 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 cfgrb.org. Fans can also visit the Bandit Scholars Program page on the team’s website, riverbandits.com, and follow a link to the Bandit Scholars page on the Foundation’s website.