I am so proud to announce the recent establishment of The Gladine and Clarence Laubinger, Sr. Memorial Scholarship by my mother, Letha Hickinbotham, Emeritus Director of the ECC Foundation.

The $500 endowed scholarship was established through the East Central College Foundation to honor Letha's parents and my grandparents, Gladine (Helling) and Clarence Laubinger, Sr. It can be applied to tuition, fees or books, and will be awarded to a full-time ECC student who was active in FFA during their high school years.

"I am pleased to be able to help deserving students achieve a college education while honoring my parents' lifelong commitment to agriculture," stated Mrs. Hickinbotham. "This is an investment in capable students who will go on to build successful careers--whatever their major might be."

My grandparents were both born in 1914, and my grandmother Gladine passed away in 1998. My grandfather still lives on the Birch Creek Century Farm, where they raised 10 children. Over the years, the family was involved in raising hogs, cattle and 2,000 chickens, which supplied eggs to St. Louis' Steak 'n Shake restaurants.

Gladine and Clarence retired from farming in 1974 and traveled in their camper to every state in the Union and every Canadian province, and took the camper on numerous trips to Branson. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a tour of Europe and a trip to Hawaii.

All 10 of the Laubinger children still live in Missouri, and now our family also includes 24 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren.

Letha established another scholarship in 1994 in memory of her son, Floyd. It is open to engineering majors, with a preference given to St. Clair High School Graduates. She has been involved with the ECC Foundation since 1981, and served as its President from 1994-95. She is also the founder of Hickinbotham Real Estate, which is still going strong in the St. Clair area.

Says her father, Clarence, "I'm very proud of my daughter. I'm pleased that she would do something like this."

I, too, am proud of my mother, Letha, and my grandparents, Gladine and Clarence. It's been a joy to live in the St. Clair area, and I love helping others find the perfect home so they too can make a happy life in our town. Call me, Scott Hickinbotham, today, at 636-629-3419 or contact me online to help you with your real estate needs.