“This is the first time that MEF (McKinney Education Foundation) has received a gift of this size and what we can’t measure is the number of lives a gift of this size will impact,” said MEF President Hal Harbor. Harbor and MEF Executive Director Edie Heinicke accepted a check from the family of Elizabeth W. Garrison (pictured above) for $2.225 million on behalf of MEF at a special event on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
The gift was presented by Garrison’s daughter Denise Holthaus, as she was surrounded by members of her family.
Unbeknownst to her family, Garrison, who passed away in August of this year, bequeathed the funds to MEF. Holthaus described her mother as “full of life, and a generous and giving philanthropist who loved to travel,” saying, “it’s still hard to believe she is gone.”
Holthaus said her mother “gave freely” to many organizations in McKinney explaining giving was part of who she was.
Also during the event, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller proclaimed Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 as “Elizabeth W. Garrison Charitable Giving Day” in Garrison’s honor.
Heinicke said, “This is the largest single gift that we have received in the history of the organization. This means that we will now have somewhere between $60 to $70 thousand dollars in scholarships to award each year. We are very grateful.”
The details of how the money will be awarded as scholarships to seniors beginning in 2014 have not yet been decided by the family Heinicke said.
Established in 1991, MEF is a non-profit education foundation which raises money for, and awards scholarships to, deserving graduates of McKinney’s high schools.