The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 16, 2005


C-C Scholarship Fund has many Carlisle ties

Al Powers, Carlisle resident and treasurer for the Concord-Carlisle Scholarship Fund (CCSF), spoke recently with the Mosquito about the charity that has long had strong participation from the Carlisle community as volunteers and donors, as well as scholarship winners. Over the fund's 40-year history, about 100 Carlisle students have been awarded scholarships to help finance post-secondary education.

Within the CCSF are named funds in memory of specific individuals, including The Janet Gates Peckham Fund and the Farnham W. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund honoring Carlisle residents. Janet Peckham was a music teacher at the Carlisle Public Schools until her retirement in 1983. Farnham and his wife Susan Smith sold 825 acres to the state in 1974 enabling the creation of Great Brook Farm State Park.

Powers has watched the Fund grow over the years. "It's a very solid and reputable organization." The Fund's assets now total over $1.4 million, and annual interest combined with donations enabled scholarships to be given to 102 students last year. This year, 1,105 families have donated $139,000.

Powers would like to see the Scholarship Fund grow as college costs continue to increase and there more students in need. The CCSF is a 501(c)3 charity.


"The awards are primarily need-based," Powers explained. Any student who has lived or gone to school in Concord or Carlisle is eligible, and grants are not limited to freshmen. There are 22 Carlisle students currently receiving a total of $33,470 in aid.

Applicants must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at: From the FAFSA students will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). This must be sent to CCSF, along with a high school transcript, and a scholarship application form, available at their web site: The deadline for applications is April 1.

Coordinating with affiliates

About a dozen business, civic and governmental groups such as Welch's, the Carlisle Garden Club, Concord Rotary, and the Town of Concord, are affiliated with the Concord-Carlisle Scholarship Fund and use the same application. This streamlines the process for students, as they only have to fill out one application instead of dozens. Powers also said the cooperative process ensures a larger applicant pool for each organization and "the transparency of awards issued helps to ensure a fair distribution of funds among worthy candidates."

Dollars for Scholars

CCSF is also associated with the national organization, Dollars for Scholars. This organization is an umbrella group for 1,200 local scholarship foundations nationwide. According to their web site,, many colleges have agreed to apply these local scholarships to either "unmet student need" or "student self-help" so that the local grants are not subtracted from the award package from a college. Some schools have further agreed to augment Dollars for Scholars scholarships. Powers says that makes CCSF awards go further.

Details of CCSF

The Trustees of the Fund meet six or seven times a year. Currently there are 18 Trustees on the Board, and three are from Carlisle. Past Carlisle Trustees have included: Bonnie Greer, Sally Coulter, Jim Sparks and George Senkler. Retired CCHS principal Elaine DiCicco is the chair.

Powers says he enjoys helping students. "Sending out checks to colleges for the scholarship recipients is a fun thing to do." He has been involved with the Scholarship Fund since 2001, when he retired from Concord Carlisle High School, where he was a popular science teacher and the science department chair.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito