ERIE, Pa. – Efforts by the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in 2019 netted more than $2 million for the school’s Student Scholarship Fund, a record fundraising figure bolstering the school’s ability to support aspiring medical, pharmacy and dental students in achieving their career goals. This year’s achievement surpassed the previous record of $1.8 million, set in 2017.
LECOM annually hosts fundraising activities at its campuses in Erie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Bradenton, Florida, and surrounding communities. The school’s two largest fundraisers are gala-style auctions held in Erie and Bradenton each fall.
In addition to the two auctions, several other events and activities held throughout the year also contributed to the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund. Those included 5K runs in Erie and Bradenton; PGA Korn Ferry Tour tournaments in New York and Florida; book, jewelry and uniform sales at Erie’s Millcreek Community Hospital; two continuing medical education conferences; a charity golf scramble; and donations made through Erie Gives.
Additionally, LECOM’s scholarship was augmented in 2019 by two new events – the LECOM Costume Caper 5K in Pittsburgh and LECOM’s Got Talent – as well as a new fund established by Pegula Sports & Entertainment that will provide $1 million in awards to students from western New York over the next 10 years.
“Achieving this milestone is a testament to the philanthropic spirit of our benefactors who see the importance of supporting tomorrow’s physicians, pharmacists and dentists,” said John Ferretti, D.O., LECOM president and CEO. “As LECOM continues to attract the best and brightest aspiring medical professionals in the country, we are thankful we’re able to assist so many of our students in realizing their dreams.”
While LECOM consistently maintains one of the lowest tuitions among private U.S. medical schools, many students graduate with a considerable amount of debt. To that end, school officials established the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund to assist future physicians, pharmacists and dentists ease the financial burden of their education. Each year the fund distributes more than $4 million to deserving students across its three campuses; since 1994, the school has awarded more than $37 million in scholarships, including $20 million over the last five years alone.