Will bequeaths $1 million to St. Anthony School Programs for scholarships

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The St. Anthony School Programs of the Diocese of Pittsburgh has received a $1 million bequest from an Oakmont woman's estate to create its first endowed scholarship fund.

Elsie Collins, who died in 2012, left the money to the program at the request of her late father, John, who ran a contracting businesss, said Jerry Gaughan, executive director of the St. Anthony Charitable Foundation.

The St. Anthony School Programs operates a Catholic-based inclusive educational program for students with special needs who range in age from 5 to 21 at four elementary sites, two secondary sites and three post-secondary sites throughout the diocese.

The average annual tuition for the programs is about $6,000, Mr. Gaughan said.

There are currently 125 spaces in the programs, with 105 filled. Mr. Gaughan said the $1.06 million donation is significant because the St. Anthony programs have been trying in recent years to raise more scholarship money to allow more families to use them.

He said it was uncertain how many scholarships would be offered from the Elsie Collins Scholarship Fund, as the principal of the fund will remain intact.

But he said applications are being taken for fall 2014. Information can be found at www.stanthonykids.org.

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