By Norman Peckham

Arizona Daily Wildcat

For the past 17 years, Nelson Mintz has been meeting weekly with friends to discuss ways to raise money for UA students.

Mintz, a retired Chrysler dealership chairman, and his friends are members of the Tucson chapter of Dollars for Scholars, a national non-profit organization which raises scholarship money for college students.

The 17 members of the organization’s Tucson chapter meet at Maxwell’s Restaurant, 1661 N. Swan Road, Mondays at noon to eat lunch and “talk about various ways to raise money for students,” said Arthur Aurbach, the chairman of the Tucson chapter. S

Dollars for Scholars, with its national headquarters in St. Peter, Minn., was started in Tucson about 31 years ago by a group of eight friends who wanted to help students attend the UA, Aurbach said.

Since that time, over $900,000 has been raised from members and outside donors to the organization, Mintz said.

"100 percent of all the money raised goes to scholarships,” Mintz said. “(And) all of that goes just to the University of Arizona.” But in recent years, it has difficult for the organization to collect money because of the recession, Aurbach said.

He said, though, that the organization has been able to give out 37 scholarships each year over the past 31 years, each totaling $1000.

This year, the organization will give out about 38 scholarships at a luncheon in June or July, Aurbach said.

He said all the scholarships from the organization are given to students who enter the UA as freshmen.

"We start off with good students and we hope to maintain (their scholarships) all four years of college,” Aurbach said. “If they keep up their grades they can renew their scholarships.”

In order to be eligible for a scholarship from Dollars for Scholars, students must have at least a 3.5 grade point average and demonstrate financial need, Mintz said.

"The committee is looking for wellrounded students,” he said. “Straight bookworms is not what we’re looking for.” sc

Although the organization gives out scholarships to students in all fields, Aurbach said about one-third of scholarships are given to nursing students. Laurie Sharpe, a nursing senior who has received scholarships from the Dollars for Scholars program each of the past four years, said the program has helped her get through college.

"It's helped me a lot," Sharpe said. “I use the scholarship money for day care, because I go to school full time and my husband works nights.”

Sherrie Jurutka, also a nursing senior, said the program allowed her to attend the UA instead of a community college.

"I think the program has been very helpful," Jurutka said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go to the (UA) without the scholarships. It’s a wonderful program and I think it’s very nice that people contribute money to it.” s

Francisco Enriquez, a managmnent and Information systems junior, said he uses his scholarship money to buy books and other school supplies.

"The money has helped me a great deal,” Enriquez said. “There should be more foundations like it that give scholarships to students.” Read Next Article