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Accepting Applications for the Barb Schmelzle Promise Award for Women

The Community Foundation of Dunn County is pleased to offer scholarships for women 18 years of age and older in and around Dunn County who wish to further their education.  

Barb Schmelzle was a dear and devoted friend to the Menomonie community. She was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and went on to attend Carroll College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Barb worked as an Occupational Therapist in Hayward, Antigo, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, and Dunn County and particularly enjoyed working in Home Health Care. She was a third-generation member of the P.E.O. sisterhood and cared deeply about the organization and her “sisters.”  

Barb was warm and welcoming and had a unique gift for connecting on a personal level with those she encountered by making them feel special and valued. After her passing in 2019, her family established The Barb Schmelzle Promise Award for Women Fund to help adult women pursue further education by providing them with financial assistance. One of Barb’s lifelong passions involved helping traditional and nontraditional female students achieve their academic dreams.

“We wanted to do something to perpetuate Barb’s legacy and the way she worked with people…she always connected with people and always found the best in them,” says Tom Schmelzle, Barb’s husband.  “Women’s causes were particularly important to Barb, the most important being that non-traditional people complete their education to get a better status in their life.” 

One scholarship award of $1,000 will be granted to one eligible woman to remove any barrier to the pursuit of the applicant’s educational opportunities. Examples may include but are not limited to paying for college textbooks, technical supplies, tuition, assistance with past due tuition bills, fees for professional licensing exams, etc. Preference will be given to applicants who are non-traditional students with demonstrated financial need and/or extenuating life circumstances.

Those interested are asked to complete an application form at Applications are collected and processed through the Community Foundation of Dunn County. The application deadline is July 1st, 2024, by 5 pm. Questions can be directed to

The Community Foundation of Dunn County is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization, established in 1995 and serves all of Dunn County. The Foundation encourages charitable giving to help build a permanent financial resource that will support the needs of the communities of Dunn County for many generations. The Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations for programs that meet civic, health, humanitarian, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, environmental, or educational needs.

Media release.


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