Generosity has a ripple effect. For students growing up in the rolling hills and close-knit farming communities of Ralston and Rimrock, this has never been clearer.
In 2002, Gerald Ray established the David L. and Francis G. Ray Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of his parents and benefit students from his hometown communities, including students at Lind-Ritzville, Washtucna and LaCrosse High Schools, as well as students who are members or descendants of members of the Ralston or Rimrock Granges.
Raised in Ralston and educated in Ritzville, Gerald pursued a career in teaching and coaching that gave him the opportunity to enrich young lives across Lincoln County, from Odessa to Edwall to Reardan. After retirement, Gerald generously contributed annual gifts to expand the scholarship’s endowment and impact, inspiring others to join him. Long-standing community organizations open to all, the Ralston and Rimrock Granges have promoted the fund for years, allowing more students to access the scholarship opportunity.
“It is why we are passionate about partnering with Innovia Foundation to grow the Ray Scholarship Endowment – to provide even more scholarship funds yearly that will positively impact the lives of students for future generations,” continued Randy.
With the community behind him, Gerald knew his vision for helping local students could expand into something bigger. In 2019, Innovia supported the first step, partnering with the Ralston and Rimrock Granges and local community leaders to create a five-year matching gift challenge to permanently endow the scholarship fund. The community rallied and three years later, the fund is on track to meet the $25,000 fundraising goal.
After a lifetime of investing in students, Gerald’s work and legacy lives on through the Ray Scholarship, offering generations of future students a hand-up in following their dreams.
Ellie and Spencer Gering (pictured), twins from Ritzville, were awarded the scholarship in 2019. Now thriving as honor roll students at Washington State University, they represent just two of many students pursuing a brighter future thanks to Gerald’s vision and the collective generosity of their community.