Local lawmakers set up Skinner scholarship fund at YVCC

Fund honors Dr. Hal and former Rep. Mary Skinner who recently passed away


South Central Washington lawmakers have established a scholarship fund at Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) to accept donations in honor of Dr. Hal and former Rep. Mary Skinner.

Rep. Skinner passed away early Thursday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. Her husband, Dr. Harlow “Hal” Skinner, died Jan. 17.

Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima, said a scholarship fund through the Yakima Valley Community College Foundation is appropriate, given the Skinners’ involvement with the college.

“Mary was a graduate of Yakima Valley Community College. She served for many years on both the college board and the YVCC Foundation board,” said Johnson, who succeeded Skinner when her legislative term expired last month. “Both Mary and Hal Skinner were ardent supporters of education. I know they would be thrilled and honored to have a fund set up in their names that could help local students attend YVCC.”

Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches, said the Dr. Hal and Rep. Mary Skinner Memorial Scholarship will be funded strictly by donations at no expense to taxpayers.

“Mary and Hal gave so much to our communities and state in their lives. With this scholarship, we honor their spirit of giving,” Ross said. “The best part is, the college foundation will be matching every donation dollar-for-dollar. This is a really great thing we can do to give back and secure educational futures for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity.”

Lawmakers from the 13th and 15th legislative districts, including Reps. Judy Warnick, Bill Hinkle, Bruce Chandler and Dan Newhouse, also encouraged support for the fund.

Donations may be sent to:
Dr. Hal and Rep. Mary Skinner Memorial Scholarship
c/o YVCC Foundation
Box 22520
16th and Nob Hill Avenues
Yakima, WA 98907-2520

The fund will be administered by Rep. Skinner’s family.

No funeral services are planned for the Skinners. However, a community Celebration of Life in honor of the Skinners is being planned for a later date, possibly in the spring, said Marti Brunelle, former Rep. Mary Skinner’s sister.

Brunelle said the family requests donations be sent to the scholarship fund in lieu of flowers.

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Washington State House Republican Communications