Gil and Mary Jean Hebenstreit of Gillespie have established an annual scholarship through The Partnership for Educational Excellence.
The Hebenstreits say they “want to encourage young people to pursue their goals through education.” The $500 Gil and Mary Jean Hebenstreit Scholarship, first to be offered in 2018, The Partnership’s 25th anniversary year, will be awarded annually.
“We are so pleased that Gil and Mary Jean responded to our year of celebrating past scholars and other accomplishments,” says John Fassero, Jr., president and a founding member of The Partnership. Since 1992, the education foundation has channeled donors’ dollars into more than $800,000 in 393 academic tuition scholarships and hundreds of classroom mini-grants.
“The Hebenstreit’s ongoing support and example are very much appreciated,” says Fassero. “Without the generosity and faith of friends and neighbors, these programs would not be possible.”
This well-known Gillespie couple moved to the area after their marriage in 1961 and purchased a funeral home in Gillespie. Subsequently they operated furniture stores in Gillespie, Benld, Auburn, and Edwardsville. Next they ran an Anheuser Busch beer distributorship out of Benld while also buying and renting apartments. Their apartment business still thrives.
Gil and Mary Jean are the parents of three children: Mary Louise, Gene, and Margie Brill.