CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An anonymous group raised more than $3 million to establish a Rev. Pinckney Fund for education.
The announcement was made by Charleston Major Joe Riley and Rev. Norvel Goff, interim pastor at Mother Emanuel AME Church Thursday afternoon.
The Rev. Pinckney Scholarship Fund, a non-profit corporation registered in the State of South Carolina, will provide college and advanced degree scholarships for members of the extended Mother Emanuel AME Church community including the families of the victims of the June 17 tragedy, City of Charleston spokesperson Barbara Vaughn said.
"Once again goodness overcomes evil," Goff said.
Riley, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and William M. Lewis, Jr. have agreed to serve as the initial board members of the corporation. The Board and the Mother Emanuel AME Church leadership will establish the grant making process.
The money came from outside of the state of South Carolina, "from a good distance away," Riley said, but would not elaborate further on who the donors were.
"To know that the children of this community will have increased access to an excellent education is so very heartwarming," Riley said. "We are grateful for this gift for their future. The grace and courage of this church and its members is a light in the darkness of this tragedy. The generosity of these anonymous donors has touched all of us. This scholarship honors Reverend Clementa Pinckney in a way that provides building blocks for the future of our community and I know that he would be greatly honored. This gift will be an enduring legacy in his name."
Goff said the money is "for all children," not just the members of the Emanuel AME church congregation.
"It is so appropriate to have a scholarship fund in the name of Reverend Pinckney as he highly valued education," Goff said. "It is our hope that the recipients of this gift will value education themselves further along in life."
Anyone wishing to make tax-deductible contributions to the Fund may send it to:
Contributions may also be made online at: http://www.pinckneyfund.org