Long-time western Colorado residents Bill and Shirley Ela have been family farmers for decades, in Palisade and more recently the Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss. Bill Ela served as a district judge and was very involved in environmental issues during his lifetime. His wife Shirley was a founder of our regional Community Foundation 22 years ago.
In 2013, Bill and Shirley established a donor-advised fund and named their grandchildren, Will and Adair, as the advisors. Their hope was to encourage their grandkids to look around at needs in the community and have some money to donate to causes each year. Over the years, Will and Adair supported the local Montessori, Paradise Theater and Trout Unlimited in the North Fork.
Now a high school senior, Will is graduating from Hotchkiss High School this May. An independent selection committee selected him as a first recipient of a new scholarship established by one of his Hotchkiss neighbors, Mary Rebeck. Will is headed to Colorado State University to study Automotive Engineering and wants to work on designing and building the next generation of electric vehicles.
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