Milan Rotary Club receives incredible gift

Rotary Club receives monumental donation

INCREDIBLE GIFT – The Milan Rotary Club announced last week that they had received a gift of $129,318.30 from Mrs. Sarah S. Cooper, of Jackson. Mrs. Cooper, a 1945 graduate of Milan High School, bequeathed the club 10 percent of her estate when she passed on May 5, 2016. Mrs. Cooper’s trust agreement stated that the funds could only be used to fund scholarships for students at MHS. Pictured are Rotarians (back row) Elton Sims, Greg Scott, Jessica Nelson, Shannon Barton, Patrick McHale, Logan Watson, Ed Vaughn, David Scarbrough, (front row) Tracey Glisson, Melissa McMinn, Jerry Flippin, Gerald Griffin, Ray Whitwell and Linda Oakley. Not pictured: Anne Austin.

Sarah S. Cooper is still a stranger to the members of the Milan Rotary Club, but her name will be forever remembered by the organization, as well as Milan High School. Cooper, a Jackson resident, passed from this life on May 5, 2016, bequeathing ten percent of her estate to the local civic club. In total, Cooper’s donation amounted to $129,318.30.
Members of the club found out about the bequest in June of last year, but did not know the scale of Cooper’s donation until recently.
“This is an incredible gift,” said Milan Rotary Club President Logan Watson. “We were honored that Mrs. Cooper would think of us at all, but when we learned the full amount, we were in awe. Generous doesn’t even begin to describe her contribution.”
According to statements from her attorney, Cooper and her husbands, who preceded her in death, had no children, so she chose to leave her entire estate to charitable organizations in the area. In her trust, Cooper stated that the entirety of her donation to the Milan Rotary Club was to be used to fund scholarships for students at Milan High School.
Cooper, whose maiden name was Sarah Stewart, graduated from Milan High School in 1945. After graduation, she worked for AT&T in Milan for close to 30 years, then retired and moved to Jackson. Both of Cooper’s husbands were veterans of World War II and died from lung cancer. After her passing, Cooper was buried next to her first husband in Oakwood Cemetery in Milan. She was 88 years old.
Watson stated that the Milan Rotary Club has not yet decided what, if any, changes will be made to their present scholarship program. The club is currently in the process of creating the “Milan Rotary Club Sarah S. Cooper Scholarship Endowment Fund”, which will ensure that Cooper’s gift will benefit MHS students for years to come.
“Civic groups across the country are struggling, especially in rural areas,” said Watson. “Mrs. Cooper’s gift will ensure that the Milan Rotary Club will be able to provide financial aid to generations of seniors from Milan High School.”

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