Donor who helped Monroe schools take over, expand wellness center pledges more for improvements, upkeep, scholarships

The Monroe County Schools are getting a $1 million-plus donation for a family wellness center and scholarships for graduates of the county’s only high school from businessman George Eagle Bushong of Bradenton, Fla., who grew up in a prominent Monroe County family.

George Bushong and daughter Isabelle

School Supt. Lewis Darrell Carter told Shelley Smith of the Glasgow Daily Times that Bushong had mentioned his intent to donate $50,000 a year for 10 years for the  Monroe County Family Wellness Center, and surprised him two weeks ago by adding an extra $55,000 for the next decade for various scholarships.

The schools took ownership in November 2011 of the center, “which was built on property owned by the school district,” Smith reports. “Since then, Carter said the wellness center membership has gone up from 340 members to 1,200.” The annual donations will pay for an indoor digital golf machine, a swimming scoreboard and maintenance of the George and Isabelle Bushong Foundation Aquatic Center, which Bushing helped build to hold swim meets and was named for his daughter.

Asst. Supt. Amy Thompson told Smith the wellness center is heavily used by student athletes for training, physical education classes and afterschool fitness classes.

“It gives the kids something to do to include fitness in their lives,” she said.

Carter said he’s even seen families meet at the wellness center to work out together,” Smith reports. “He said the funding to help support this facility will be great service to community. . . . To pay homage to Bushong’s generous donations, Carter said they will change the name of the wellness center to the George and Isabelle Bushong Foundation Monroe County Family Wellness Center.”

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