SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Some special visitors visited Siouxland on Tuesday as the crew and command of the USS Sioux City celebrated a big achievement in the Legacy Fund.
The Siouxland community collectively donated over $254,000 to the educational fund. The money will go directly to crew members and their family to help pay for college expenses and certifications.
“I never imaged in my wildest dreams that Siouxland would be so supportive that we would beat that goal by 25 percent,” said Frank Thorp, the USS Sioux City Commissioning Chair.
The local support for the U.S. Navy ship started back in 2012 when the ship was named after Sioux City, and the bond has continued to grow.
“The city really does care about them, and it really does care about its namesake out there on the ocean no matter where they are,” said Mary Winnefeld, the sponsor of the USS Sioux City.
Thomas Perkins is one of many officers who will benefit from this scholarship fund.
“That extra bit of sending your children to school or sending your spouse to school or sending our selves to school, that extra bit of money will go a long way,” said Perkins Commander and Cheif of the USS Sioux City Gold.
There are currently 200 members on the USS Sioux City crew and each one of them will have the opportunity to apply for the scholarship.
“When I talk to most of the sailors, they talk about how they want to send their kids to college and give their kids that extra step so maybe they can go in as commission officers and have life a little bit easier,” said Perkins.
The Legacy Fund is still deciding how to distribute the funds, but one plan would issue scholarships to ten families each year.
“That’s a huge impact for the ship, and that word permeates throughout the crew and everybody ends up knowing about it and appreciating it,” said Thorp.
By spreading out the funds and starting with such a large sum, the Legacy Fund hopes to support sailors on the USS Sioux City for the lifetime of the ship.
“The core of the fund will always stay. It won’t be spent and will be the interest and the dividend that are generated as the part of the Siouxland Community Foundation out here that will provide those educational opportunities,” said Thorp.
Sailors will be able to apply for these scholarships each year and a board of directors will be selected to help decide who will receive the grant money each year.