Meet our Supporters: Irene & Ronald Schmidt

A good education can impact a family for generations, as Irene and Ronald Schmidt know from experience.

Ron, a 1966 Holdingford graduate, went on to attend the University of North Dakota on a football scholarship. After marrying Irene and eventually moving back to Central Minnesota, Irene became involved in the Holdingford schools – particularly in the arts – by serving on committees and volunteering. Ron served on the school board for more than 20 years.

Irene & Ron Schmidt

“All three of our kids also graduated from Holdingford,” said Irene. “We lived in the district, and we knew it was a good school.”

The Schmidt’s loyalty to Holdingford manifested even before the Holdingford Scholarship Endowment Fund (HSEF) was launched. “We were giving out scholarships on our own,” explained Irene. “Ron and I had a fund set up through the Central Minnesota Community Foundation. It’s not a large scholarship, but we continue to give it out each year.”

Ron added, “When we heard about the Holdingford Scholarship Endowment Fund, we knew it’d be a way to reach more kids with scholarships.”

In addition to personally supporting HSEF, Ron was able to make charitable contributions through a program at his employer, Northwestern Mutual in St. Cloud. He also joined the HSEF board, serving for several years until recently stepping down.

“We decided to support HSEF with our money and time because we know most of the faculty at the Holdingford schools personally and we know they are wonderful educators,” said Ron. “Now that we’re retired, being involved with HSEF is a good way to stay in contact with the community.”

With the grandkids

“We started our lives together in a trailer house, and now we have 50 acres of land and we’ve traveled the world. If not for Ron’s college scholarship, he wouldn’t have gotten the education he had to be successful,” said Irene. “We want Holdingford graduates to be able to afford more education and to know what’s possible.”

Both Irene and Ron feel the need to pay it forward; to pass on some of the good fortune they’ve achieved in their own lives. As Ron put it, “You can’t outgive God.”

To join Irene and Ron in supporting Holdingford graduates, go here to make a contribution to the Holdingford Scholarship Endowment!

To learn more about how donations impact the lives of Holdingford graduates, read about our scholarship recipients!