Single parents often put their lives on hold while they take care of their children’s needs. Working at jobs that pay the bills right now, they forgo a college education that can lead to satisfying careers and greater financial stability.
Ryan and Lauren Poynter are doing what they can, as quickly as possible, to help reverse that trend for single parents at EWU.
Last year, when Ryan, ’15 BA business administration, and Lauren’s daughter was an infant, they established the Poynter Scholarship for single parents and started a foundation to help raise the funds to endow the scholarship at $25,000.
From the Poynter’s home near San Diego, where Ryan was recently promoted to regional area manager in his seven-year career with Ro Health, he decided to hold an annual golf tournament, beginning in 2022, with proceeds going toward the scholarship. Ryan called on friends in the know to ask how to run a golf tournament, promote it, and sell sponsorships and team registrations.
One friend he called is Sigma Phi Epsilon brother Joe Frazier, ’12 BA education, Washington’s Naches Valley High School assistant principal and athletic director, who formerly worked in the golf industry. He was more than happy to help because he sees a lot of students on the higher education path who need scholarships, and because of his admiration for Ryan and Lauren.
“Many of us have big ideas that would be cool. But Ryan did it and will continue to do it,” Joe said. “He put in the hard work to better the lives of those who need the scholarship. The success of the tournament is a testament to Ryan and Lauren’s resolve.”
The golf tournament, held in October at Spokane’s Indian Canyon Golf Course, was a hole in one. Tournament sponsorships and prizes, mainly from San Diego-area corporations, and golf team fees generated proceeds of more than $11,552 for the EWU Foundation to support the Poynter Scholarship. That leaves about $3,400 remaining to endow the scholarship.
“We had a really good response from amazing sponsors, individuals and participants,” Ryan said. “Some of them have true connections to the needs of single parents who would have benefitted from the assistance of a scholarship.” Obviously pleased with this year’s tournament, the Poynters are already planning for next year’s event.