Westervelt family creates fund for Ocracoke students – OBX Today

Westervelt family creates fund for Ocracoke students - OBX Today
Ernie Westervelt and Kari Styron photo by Summer Stevens. (Submitted)

The Outer Banks Community Foundation proudly announces the Dr. Frederic B. Jr. and Ernestine H. Westervelt Scholarship Fund, a tribute to the enduring connection of the Westervelt family with the Ocracoke community.

Dr. Westervelt’s career included 30 years at the University of Virginia in the field of nephrology. His role in establishing early dialysis programs and his subsequent commitment to community health exemplify a life devoted to service.  After leaving the UVA, he opened his own dialysis clinic which he led for another ten years, before moving to the Outer Banks.

For over six decades, the Westervelts found solace and joy on the island, making it their permanent home in 2005. Described by his family as a kind and ethical man who chose his words carefully, Fred was deeply appreciative of the remote island that allowed him to rest from the chaos of his regular life.

After his passing in April of 2023, Dr. Westervelt’s wife Ernestine (Ernie) and their children chose to establish the new scholarship fund as a testament to his legacy, fostering education and community support for generations to come. “We wanted to do something that would be worthwhile and would help the community,” Ernie said, “because we loved living there.”

The scholarship, administered by the Outer Banks Community Foundation, will provide renewable support to eligible Ocracoke students pursuing higher education. Through the Dr. Frederic B. Jr. and Ernestine H. Westervelt Scholarship Fund, the family aims to honor Fred’s commitment to learning and his love for Ocracoke.

“The Outer Banks Community Foundation extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Westervelt family for their generous contribution,” said Community Foundation board chair Jean-Louise Dixon. “This important new charitable fund embodies the spirit of philanthropy that strengthens and uplifts the Ocracoke community.”

Parents and students interested in applying for any of the Outer Banks Community Foundation scholarships can access the common application at https://obcf.org/scholarships/ beginning February 2, 2024.

If you are interested in setting up an endowment fund, visit https://obcf.org/giving/create-a-fund/ or call the Community Foundation at 252-423-3003. Funds can be created to memorialize loved ones, support a favorite issue or charity, provide scholarships, and more.  Anyone can learn about or donate to any existing fund online at www.obcf.org/donate.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that inspires philanthropy and connects people who care with causes that matter. The Community Foundation manages 220 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, including 70 scholarship funds; awards grants to nonprofits and scholarships for higher education, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $13 million in grants and scholarships.