Liz Eilf has a problem. She and the Lehigh Regional Medical Center's Auxiliary want to give away money in the form of scholarships to deserving students in Lehigh Acres. They made an announcement two weeks ago and notified the schools, but they have not received any requests for applications.
It could be that the news never reached students in the two high schools in Lehigh even though Eilf said she sent information to the counselors.
Or it could be that people didn't take time to read local papers to know about the available money.
"I know there are those out there who could use scholarships for college or other advanced schools of education. We have the money and want to give it out.
"The scholarship money is for students of any age, students graduating from high school or moms and days with children who are trying to go back to school. The only stipulation is that the scholarships must be given to students who are interested in any subject as it relates to the medical industry," she said.
That criteria can include several occupations and professions from becoming a doctor, a dentist, a nurse, a records keeper, a nursing assistant and more.
The money comes from purchase made by the public at the gift shop and boutique at Lehigh Regional Medical Center, which is manned by several volunteers who also work throughout the hospital.
Officially the name of the shop is Lehigh Regional Medical Center Gift Shop jewelry Boutique . It carries a large array of items from greeting cards and flowers to jewelry and nick knacks and collectibles.
Since Eilf became president of the Auxiliary, she has gone about refurbishing the gift shop and has decorated it as such to make it attractive and a place a visitor to the hospital may wish to enter.
In addition to the money received from the sale of items, the public is also encouraged to contribute to the volunteer organization.
"We really want to help those in our community who want to further their education in the medically-related field," Eilf said.
Eilf herself was a volunteer for a few years before she became the president of the Auxiliary. Now she not only volunteers at the hospital, but she keeps up with the scheduling of 52 volunteers who work throughout the hospital and in the fit shop.
How much does the Auxiliary have to give away, Eilf was asked.
"We've got $2,500 and we are going to give away $500 scholarships. But we first must have an application and it can be picked up at the entrance counter at the hospital's front desk.
She said the deadline for getting the application back is June 14, having extended the deadline already.
"We are surely giving away four scholarships and maybe more," she said.
"We invite everyone who visits someone at the hospital to stop by our gift shop. I think it is a gem that few people know about. When you come in the front entrance, our gift shop is to the left.
For more information, those interested in getting a scholarship may contact Liz Eilf at 239-218-7883. They can also contact Margaret Switzer, who is chairman of the scholarship selection committee. Her number is 239-369-4066. But Eilf stressed that applications are at the hospital's front desk.