Andrew Tresslar was enrolled in Health Occupations during his senior year at Charleston High School when he had the opportunity to shadow a Sarah Bush Lincoln Emergency Department physician. That chance meeting opened his mind to other careers in medicine.
“Initially, I was interested in becoming a nurse, largely due to the educational expense and the years of hard work it takes to become a doctor. After shadowing with Dr. [Shane] Cline in the Emergency Department, I absolutely fell in love with medicine. It was a super cool experience, and it changed my career trajectory. I learned that if I was willing to stomach the expense and put in the work, I could do something incredibly interesting that I love,” Tresslar said.
Now in his senior year at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Tresslar holds acceptances at several medical schools and is grateful to the SBL Volunteer Guild for the scholarship he received. Paying for his own education, Tresslar is mindful of every penny he spends. When his laptop stopped working during a crucial time, he felt a little less guilty replacing it. “It has definitely alleviated some of the financial burden of my education, and I appreciate it so much,” Tresslar added.
The SBL Volunteer Guild is honored to award scholarships to area students like Tresslar who are pursuing their education in healthcare-related fields. The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation typically raises funds to support the Volunteer Guild Scholarship Program through “Cheers!,” a high-energy cocktail party and dance. The “Cheers!” event raised more than $20,000 last year. However, restrictions imposed due to the pandemic caused SBL to make the difficult decision to cancel the 37th annual event, scheduled for March 6, 2021. In lieu of an in-person event, this year “Cheers!” has been transformed to a raffle and partnership program.
The public is invited to purchase raffle tickets to support the Guild Scholarship Program. Participants have a chance to win one of three wonderful prizes. Among the three prizes to choose from are a getaway package, including a two-night stay at Persimmon Woods Place, a scenic, lakeside retreat in the heart of Southern Illinois. Conveniently located near Mt. Vernon, the winner will enjoy a gorgeous private guest house with an indoor swim spa, gourmet kitchen, luxurious bath, and king loft bed overlooking the main level. There are multiple fire pits, patios and a grill available as well. The Persimmon Woods Place stay is donated by Dr. Greg & Debbie Deters. Included with this package is a complimentary wine basket from Pheasant Hollow Winery, dinner for two (your choice of meats) from Morgan’s Meat Market, $100 gas card from Lambo’s BP, $50 gift certificate from Modern Family Dinners in Effingham, sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s and much more, valued at more than $750.
Another prize is a set of Eco-drive watches: a man’s Royal Air Force, radio-controlled with digital time zone function and light meter; and a woman’s black stainless steel with rose gold and crystal accents. Both watches were donated by Towne Square Jewelers, Charleston, and have a total combined value of $1,200.
The third prize is preferential parking outside the building or entrance of choice at any SBL facility for six months, designated with a parking sign. A $50 Visa card donated by the Mattoon Lions Club accompanies this prize.
Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and can be purchased on the SBL website at https://www.sarahbush.org/cheers/, or by calling the SBL Health Foundation at 217-258-2511. The winning tickets will be drawn at 2pm on Wednesday, March 31. Winners do not need to be present to win.
Those interested in supporting the Volunteer Guild Scholarship Program may also become a Scholarship Partner. Partnerships help provide scholarships for up to 25 students pursuing degrees in a healthcare-related field. Scholarship Partners who donate at or above $500 will receive one-time naming rights for a scholarship, photos with the recipient during the awards ceremony, recognition on the SBL website, and Guild and Foundation communications related to the 2021 Scholarship Program. Partners may choose from the following levels: $500, $1,000, and $1,500.
Since 1979, the Volunteer Guild has awarded more than $725,000 in scholarships to students in a 10-county area who are pursuing their education in medically-related fields. Qualified areas of study include, but are not limited to nursing, medical technology, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy, pharmacy, dietetics, medical coding, and speech pathology. The school to be attended must be accredited or recognized as an approved program.
Scholarships are awarded for an academic year and are based on a student’s scholastic achievement, financial need and the availability of funds. This year’s scholarship application deadline is April 15. Selection of recipients is made in early May.
For more information about scholarships or to submit an application, contact Volunteer Services, at Sarah Bush Lincoln at (217) 258-4180. Scholarship applications can also be completed online by visiting www.sarahbush.org.