Family honored with Sutch-Briner Memorial Scholarship Fund
As a member of the Gibson County Community Foundation's board of trustees, Chuck Briner knew the benefits of starting an endowment fund with the foundation. When he and his wife, Cathy, wanted to memorialize his mother, who passed away in November 2006, they decided to establish a scholarship fund. But instead of simply recognizing his mother, Chuck and Cathy decided to memorialize three individuals who made a large impact on their lives.
The Sutch - Briner Memorial Scholarship is an annual scholarship created in loving memory of Chuck's mother Pauline Hassel Briner Sutch, and is also a tribute to Chuck's step-father, Lester Sutch and Lester's first wife, Jane Sutch.
In 1960, when Chuck was just twelve, his father, George Briner, passed away, leaving his mother to raise four children alone. Pauline didn't have a college education but believed strongly in advanced education, Chuck recalls, and was determined that all of her children would receive a college degree, and they did. Also present in their lives were their dear friends Lester and Jane Sutch.
The Briners were always very close to the Sutches. "When Cathy and I married, we purchased land from Lester and Jane and built our home close to theirs. They treated us like we were their own children," says Chuck.
Lester and Jane had been married for 47 years when Jane passed away in 1990. Lester continued to be close to the Briner family, attending all the important family events and get-togethers, and few years later, he and Pauline were married, making Lester Chuck's stepfather.
"My mother, Lester, and Jane set the example of giving back to their community. They were all very involved in their church and community organizations. If they saw someone with a need they would step in and help," says Chuck. "They also knew the importance of having a college education and how difficult it can be to attain. The Sutch-Briner Memorial Scholarship will help students achieve their goals."
The Sutch-Briner Memorial scholarship is open to Gibson County residents of Hazelton, Patoka, or Mt. Olympus or Knox County residents of Decker.