The association also pledged to match donations up to an additional $200,000.
WESTERVILLE, Ohio — The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) announced a gift of $225,000 in scholarship funds presented to PLANET AEF at the Green Industry Conference awards ceremony on Oct. 26.
PLANET AEF is a non-profit organization that provides academic scholarships to students aspiring to be horticulture professionals. Since its founding, PLANET AEF has awarded scholarships to 650 students totaling more than $650,000.
ONLA became PLANET AEF’s first state association scholarship ambassador in 2010 with a commitment of $50,000 followed by another contribution of $25,000 in 2011. With the new gift of $225,000, ONLA has given a total of $300,000 to fund PLANET AEF scholarships.
In addition to funding scholarships through PLANET AEF, ONLA has awarded over $500,000 to more than 400 students in the past 20 years.
"ONLA has identified education, at all levels, as one of the organization’s core values, and we believe that it is critical to personal, professional, and industry success," said Jennifer Gray, associate director and student activities liaison at ONLA. “Partnering with AEF to endow ONLA scholarships for future generations of students serves as another example of how ONLA works to lead and promote the green industry.”
In additional to the new gift, ONLA has approved another $200,000 to be given to PLANET AEF in funds to match the first eight donations at the Ambassador level ($25,000) given to PLANET AEF by members of ONLA. Members have up to three years to make a $25,000 pledge, and another five years to fulfill the commitment.
“On behalf of PLANET AEF, I want to thank ONLA for being such an incredible partner in the support of the next generation of our industry’s leaders,” said Jim McCutcheon, Landscape Industry Certified, PLANET AEF president. “Their generous gift will have a huge impact on the lives of many students, as well as on the industry as a whole.”