Bridget Inspires Scholarship Fund
The Bridget Inspires Scholarship Fund will support young women in triathlon and other athletic endeavors. Bridget was a world-class triathlete, admired by many in the community and a huge influencer in the growing sport. The word "inspiring" has been most commonly used in those describing Bridget since her passing, and the goal of this endowment is to extend her inspiration beyond her achievements and coaching. Bridget raced with grace, confidence, strength, and a quiet fierceness that made her a champion in the sport as well as a mentor and friend to the entire community. Her drive and vitality will live through the young women that will be supported from this fund to pursue their athletic goals.
MARCH 2017 UPDATE: first RECIPIENT selected
Thanks to the amazing generosity of our friends, family and community, nearly $40,000 have been contributed to the Bridget Inspires Scholarship at the Oregon Community Foundation. Finding a 501c3 that the Oregon Community Foundation could send the funds to, in order to fulfill the intent of the scholarship, turned out to be non-trivial. We are grateful for the work of the Multnomah Athletic Club Foundation and MAC Triathlon Club in helping us develop and implement a strategy that solicited proposals from the triathlon clubs at Iowa State University (Bridget’s alma mater), Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where Bridget trained.
Based on the recommendation from the MAC Triathlon Club, we are delighted to provide the triathlon club at Cal Poly with $4,000 in this initial year. The team will use the funds to purchase 2-3 bikes that can be loaned to female triathletes who otherwise could not purchase their own. Additionally, the Cal Poly team plans to establish a Bridget Dawson Nationals Scholarship to cover collegiate nationals fees for two women, allowing greater accessiblity to the highest level of competition. Cal Poly's team has 160 members, 74 of which are female. The team placed 9th overall at Collegiate Club Nationals last year, and aim to be top 5 this year, already winning the first 3 races of this year's season. A sweet aspect of selecting Cal Poly is that the student who helped write the proposal was a business student who Bridget had taken to Morro Bay to learn how to swim in the open water. This team describes itself as a family, cheering every single athlete into every finish line, and enjoying a family dinner each Friday night after swim practice.
Our plan after this year is to treat the remaining funds as an endowment, which means we will make a smaller award in 2018. If you are inspired, we would love to grow the size of the endowment and be able to provide greater support in the future. Further information can be found at the Oregon Community Foundation website.
Bridget’s loss left a gaping hole for many of us, but her scholarship is a wonderful way to keep her spirit alive. Please know how deeply we appreciate your support. Bridget was a very humble person, and would be stunned to know that her friends and family have created such a substantial fund in her name.
We sincerely thank you,
Scott, Whitney and Conor Dawson
The Bridget Inspires Scholarship Fund is made possible by the Oregon Community Foundation. Contributions are tax deductible and will be acknowledged by the Dawson Family and the OCF.