You Don’t Have to Sell the Family Cow

Since 1995, the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation has been able to award over 1,500 post-secondary scholarships. While they have different eligibility criteria and greatly varying visions, each scholarship was set up by someone from the local community with a desire to give back, with many created to memorialize a loved one.

In 2001, Foundation Executive Director Jodi Cessna met the wonderful Dorothy Stasny. During her working years, Dorothy had been a nurse and her husband, Joseph, was a pharmacist. The couple had been saving money for their “golden years.” When Joseph sadly passed away far younger than expected, Dorothy decided that she would like to invest their funds with the CPCF to provide scholarships to students interested in focusing on a profession in healthcare.

The Joseph T. and Dorothy E. Stasny Memorial Scholarship focuses on students planning to attend Conemaugh School of Nursing, Duquesne University, Juniata College, or Mount Aloysius College. When asked by Mrs. Cessna why she wanted to set up the scholarships, Dorothy explained that her aunt had to sell one of the family cows to send Dorothy to nursing school. During the 1930s, this was an extreme gesture and one for which Dorothy was eternally grateful. It was her desire to help other families from having to make a major sacrifice to send their loved ones to college. To date, over 80 families have had their financial load lightened with thanks to the thoughtful generosity of Joseph and Dorothy Stasny.