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2017 RMC Foundation Garden Jubilee Raises Nearly $100,000 to Fund The Martha Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship for Local High School Students

While a little wet weather might dampen some outdoor events, a little rain didn’t dampen the fun, festivities or funds raised at the 2nd annual RMC Foundation Garden Jubilee held last month at the Longleaf Botanical Gardens in Anniston. The RMC Foundation today announced that more than 357 guests in attendance at the 2017 Garden Jubilee helped raise over $98,000 to fund college scholarships for deserving local Calhoun County high school students.

RMC Foundation grants the 2017 Martha Vandervoort Scholarship to Anniston High School graduate, Ciara Smith.
RMC Foundation grants the 2017 Martha Vandervoort Scholarship to Anniston High School graduate, Ciara Smith.

The RMC Foundation created the Martha Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship last year as an opportunity to invest in youth with benevolent character and a servant’s heart and to close the gap for senior high school students in Calhoun County fulfilling unmet financial needs as students pursue a college education. The scholarship was established to honor the life and legacy of longtime Anniston resident and philanthropist, Martha Vandervoort. Recipients of the scholarship were chosen through an application and interview process with a selection committee. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate they have a financial need and reflect the embodiment of charity.

This year’s Martha Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ciara Smith, who graduated seventh in her class from Anniston High School in May with a 3.95 GPA. A member of the National Honor Society and president of the Spanish Club, she also served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), member of the Key Club and an ambassador for Anniston High School. Smith plans to attend Spelman College & University in Atlanta this fall, joining ROTC and pursuing her dream to become an attorney.
“Ciara has contributed countless hours to improving Anniston’s downtown community through her participation in Anniston’s Main Street program and legacy club as well as raising funds and awareness for March of Dimes, Second Chance and Relay for Life,” said Fillingim. “She is a delightful young woman of the finest character and we could not be more pleased to assist Ciara and further invest in the future leaders of our community.”

This year, Garden Jubilee attendees enjoyed classic Motown sounds from the band, Daybreakk, and dining delicacies catered by Anniston favorite, Classic on Noble. Primary corporate sponsors included: Eastman, Calhoun County Medical Society, Regional Medical Center, Robins & Morton Builders, The Anniston Star, ERA King, Webb Concrete Building Materials, NLM, Buster Miles, Morris Building Constructors, Busby Printing and ABS – Business Systems.

“Martha Vandervoort was a true inspiration to all those around her and a shining example of a servant leader,” said Lagina Fillingim, RMC Foundation Director. “We are so pleased to recognize those students in Calhoun County who have led by Ms. Vandervoort’s example and made an impact in our community through leadership and community service.”
This year’s RMC Garden Jubilee Committee was chaired by Leslie LaPlante and supported by the following committee members: Vera Jordan, Dr. Margaret Pope, Kate Van Meter, Ellen Bass, Hannah Downing, Elke Obermeier, Maudine Holloway, James Riddle, Cristy Humphries, Jessica Rivera-Martin, Bridgette Magouirk, Chris Wilson, George Dudchock, Kathy Phillips and Jessica Grisso.

Since its’ inception, the Martha Vandervoort Memorial Scholarship has helped three Calhoun County high school students attain their dream of attending college. Each year the scholarship awards an annual renewable $6,000 scholarship to a graduating senior high school from Calhoun County. The Martha Vandervoort Garden Jubilee is an annual event. Next year, the RMC Garden Jubilee will be held on May 11, 2018.

The RMC Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit volunteer organization promoting and assisting Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC) by enhancing community services through education and financial assistance. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about the RMC Foundation, please visit
About RMC Health System

With 323 inpatient beds at RMC Anniston, 104 beds at RMC Jacksonville and 125 acute care beds at RMC Stringfellow, as well as numerous outpatient facilities and physician offices, RMC is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in Northeast Alabama. With more than 2,200 employees, 300 volunteers and over 200 primary care and specialty physicians, the expanded RMC Health System provides state-of-the-art integrated healthcare with integrity, skill and compassion. RMC Anniston is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, is an affiliate in the UAB Cancer Care Network, is recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement, and is the first designated Baby Friendly birthing facility in Alabama. All three hospitals within RMC Health System are accredited by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting agency for hospitals in the U.S. For more information, visit