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Auburn charity shifts operations online

AUBURN — For more than 30 years, the Auburn Dollars for Scholars Program has been operated and organized through pen and paper.

Last year, Scholarship America, the Minnesota-based charity which was founded as Dollars for Scholars in 1958, mandated that all current charities and nonprofit affiliates under its umbrella move operations online.

Since that time, Auburn Dollars for Scholars President Mary Hrubiec and two other volunteers have dedicated countless hours to the transition.

Now, she said, all student resources and scholarship options, fundraising events, and volunteer opportunities are available online. Those wishing to donate to the cause may also do so through the new website at

Hrubiec has been with Auburn Dollars for Scholars since 2004. Her chapter, which began with one scholarship in 1982, currently facilitates 10 annual awards, ranging from $500 to $1,000 each. Of those scholarships, most are targeted at students in specific fields of study.

“A lot of the scholarships have a preference in a certain field, for instance one scholarship is for a woman in a nursing program,” said Hrubiec. “If no one that applies fulfills that first preference then, as an example with the nursing student, (the scholarship) would then go to someone (pursuing a degree) in healthcare.”

In 2009, when Hrubiec’s husband died, she established a memorial scholarship in his name. Nine of the current scholarships, in fact, are memorial funds, she said. The lone exception is the Tech’s for Tomorrow Scholarship, which is awarded to a student attending, or planning to attend, vocational school. The last recipient, Connor Marks, is currently enrolled at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

All 10 scholarships, the majority of which are sponsored by individuals or businesses, are available to any undergraduate Auburn student.

“Basically we wanted to remember the Auburn students, since we don’t have a high school,” said Hrubiec. “We didn’t want them to be forgotten after they left Auburn.”

In the last 30-plus years, Auburn Dollars for Scholars has distributed $78,000 to 175 local students. Those scholarships not fully funded through donors are financed through fundraising events such as yard sales and car washes, said Hrubiec, who noted her organization is always seeking additional volunteers.

The deadline for current scholarship opportunities is May 15.

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