Additional Contribution of $2 Million Planned to Oscar and Libbie Rudnick Scholarship Fund, Increasing Total to $6 Million
Apr 15, 2015

Kern Community Foundation has received notice that an additional contribution of $2 million is planned from the estate of Elynor Rudnick Falk to support the Oscar and Libbie Rudnick Scholarship Fund, bringing the eventual total value of the fund to more than $6 million.  The Fund was established in 2012 with an outright contribution of $500,000 and an additional commitment of up to $4 million in contributions funded by Mrs. Falk’s estate to honor the memory of her parents, Oscar and Libbie Rudnick, in perpetuity. Once fully funded, more than $240,000 in annual scholarships will be distributed to local students representing the single largest pool of permanent scholarship dollars available to Kern County students through a common scholarship application.  

Oscar and Libbie Rudnick immigrated to America to escape the oppression and persecution of Czarist Russia, and eventually settled in Bakersfield, Kern County, California.  The Rudnick’s raised a family and by hard work, skill and talent, founded, developed and managed a livestock and agribusiness industry of major importance to the economy of Kern County.
The Fund provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to U.S. citizens who are current or former residents of Kern County, and who demonstrate motivation, perseverance and a sincere desire to gain an education. While scholarships are available to students county-wide, special consideration is given to students of Kern Valley High School.
In 2014, the Oscar and Libbie Rudnick Scholarship Fund made its first grants totaling $26,000 to 11 students graduating from Kern County high schools. The average grade point average of these students was 4.0, and most were the first in their families to attend college.
“Growing a permanent pool of scholarship dollars to promote college access among Kern County students is one of the Foundation’s main strategic priorities,” says Kristen Barnes, President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation.  “Thoughtful, well-planned estate gifts such as this one made in memory of Oscar and Libbie Rudnick create charitable legacies that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Kern County residents for generations to come.”  
Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise created by and for the people of Kern County. Its mission is powerfully simple – the Foundation is growing community and growing philanthropy. The Foundation is in business to help local donors to organize and carry out their philanthropy, generating charitable capital that makes Kern County a better place to live, to work and to visit. Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 120 charitable funds with assets of approximately $19 million, and has awarded more than $13 million in grants to improve Kern County’s quality of life.

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