FLORENCE, S.C. – The Ruiz 4 Kids Annual Louis F. Ruiz Golf Invitational was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event raises funds for a scholarship program.

So no scholarships this year?

Wrong.

Vendors, suppliers and other supporters continued to donate to the Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship Program.

Consequently, Ruiz 4 Kids was able to keep its commitment to the youth in the communities where Ruiz team members live and work.

Ruiz 4 Kids supporters made it possible for Ruiz 4 Kids to award $50,000 in scholarships to 50 Florence-area county 2020 graduating high school seniors at $1,000 each, and one $2,500 scholarship to a 2020 junior college transfer student.

Each student also receives a generous number of El Monterey product coupons.

“We are beyond proud,” said Kimberly Goble Beck, chairman of the Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship Program. “Many Ruiz Foods vendors and suppliers – including businesses who Ruiz has been working with for years as well as businesses with whom Ruiz may have just started a relationship – reached out after they heard we were canceling the golf tournament fundraiser because of COVID-19 and said they didn’t want the graduates to lose out on a scholarship opportunity.

“‘Keep the check we’ve sent,’ they would say.”

High schools in the Pee Dee from where 2020 graduates received a scholarship include Wilson, West Florence, South Florence, Lake City High, Johnsonville, Hannah-Pamplico, The King’s Academy, Florence Christian, Darlington, Hartsville, Marion, Dillon and Latta.

“Some of the South Carolina-based Ruiz Foods vendors/suppliers that contributed to this year’s Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship Program are Gregory Electric, Pee Dee Electricom, Raines Hospitality, MGC, LLC, M&M Printing and Wilcox Office Mart … just to name a few,” said Krista Meekins of the Ruiz 4 Kids Florence board.

“And, finally, because many 2020 graduations are virtual or socially distant, we asked our scholarship recipients to send us a video message … which were great to see.”

In 2019, Ruiz 4 Kids awarded 61 $1,000 scholarships to students in Florence and the surrounding area.

Ruiz 4 Kids is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991 when employees of Ruiz Food Products Inc. approached founder Fred Ruiz asking him to help them explore ways to assist families with children in need. Ruiz 4 Kids works now to fund two children/education programs: scholarships to high school seniors/community college students and the Mini-Grants for Teachers program.

For more information, visit ruiz4kids.org.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.