First announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has established a perpetual scholarship in the name of Bill Schmidt, Sr., CEO of Largo, Florida-based supplier Hit Promotional Products, who passed away in April. Funded by a personal gift of $50,000 from Schmidt’s wife Liz and son CJ, Hit’s president, the Bill Schmidt, Sr. Scholarship is only the fourth perpetual named scholarship in PPEF history.

“He loved our company and this industry,” says CJ Schmidt. “There was nobody that loved their business more than this man did. He was also one of the first contributors to the PPEF fund and firmly believed that we should give back to the kids. What better way to continue his legacy than to have his name involved in something he really believed in?”

Lori Bauer, vice president, national accounts at BIC Graphic, and PPEF’s Fundraising Committee chair, says, “This generous pledge by the Schmidt family is wonderful news for PPEF as it is a forever gift of future scholarship funding for deserving children in our industry. It is the ongoing support of individuals and companies in this industry that allows PPEF to give more in scholarship funding every year.”

PPEF board and Fundraising Committee member Wayne Greenberg, MAS, president of JB of Florida, recently visited with CJ and Liz to establish the scholarship. “I met Bill Schmidt when I began my career in 1985,” he says. “I knew Bill to be a generous man whose big heart always had a soft spot for the kids of our industry. He was among the first to say yes to a pledge to the PPEF Tomorrow Fund in 1999. How appropriate that Liz and CJ continue his legacy with this magnificent, lasting salute to that passion.”

Schmidt adds, “My father was extremely generous in supporting various local charities, and also helping members of our team when they ran into tough situations. When one of our employees had their first baby, an extra bonus was added to their paycheck without any of them knowing. He made some very nice and large contributions to local charities, but I think the smaller, more personal actions were what he was all about and what kind of man he was.

PPEF provides three levels of named scholarships in honor or in memory of an individual or company ranging from a five-year scholarship to a perpetual endowment. Since 1989, PPEF has awarded more than $1.5 million in college scholarships. Click here for more information on the Promotional Products Education Foundation.

“PPEF’s named scholarships were created to honor or memorialize an individual or company,” adds Bauer. “This Lifelong Friend perpetual endowment to PPEF is such a great way to honor Bill Schmidt, Sr. indefinitely for his many contributions to our industry and to keep his spirit alive. He touched so many lives.”