Pella Chronicle

September 25, 2013

Pella DFS adds new members to board

The Pella Chronicle

---- — The Pella Chapter of Dollars for Scholars (DFS) has welcomed new members Fred Koogler and Christy Dykstra to its board this fall, along with two new student liaisons, Courtney Nikkel and Davis Ver Steeg.

Koogler relocated with his family to Pella in 1987. Though currently retired, he is still active in the community in a variety of ways. “I do some business consulting, author curricula and teach continuing education for financial professionals, tutor elementary school students, and perform playing music,” he said.

Koogler is “delighted” to serve on the DFS board. “My wife Jane and I are strong believers in the value of education. We are also believers in community service,” he said. “Our commitment to DFS is but one way we can serve and thank the Pella community for the great education our children received here.”

As vice president of the DFS board, Koogler hopes to assist the Pella chapter in formalizing its business plan so that it can be sustainable for many years to come.

Christy Dykstra’s family moved to Pella from Fort Madison five years ago. As her oldest son graduated from Pella High last spring, Dykstra was impressed with the efficiency of the DFS organization and the generosity of the donors. “Our family is now seeing first hand the expenses that stare young people in the face as they seek to further their education,” she said. “Dollars for Scholars comes alongside to help offset some of those initial costs, providing encouragement to the students as they face a new season of life.”

Dykstra appreciates the opportunity DFS provides for families to honor the memory of a loved one or organizations to communicate their enthusiasm for higher education. “I view the individuals and organizations that contribute to Dollars for Scholars as investing in the future of these young people’s lives and giving them a vote of confidence,” she said.

Dykstra will eventually be helping out with the Pella DFS information technology. While the process to go online with the DFS application began a couple years ago, Dykstra hopes to make it even more efficient.

Pella Christian junior Courtney Nikkel and Pella High junior Davis Ver Steeg also join the board this fall. Nikkel and Ver Steeg will assist the board with communicating to students, as well as representing student perspectives on the fundraising, application and scholarship process. Ver Steeg appreciates the contributions that Pella DFS makes to Pella area grads. “I believe that the fact that they are a non-profit organization is great, knowing that all the money given to them will put a smile on a high schooler’s face,” he said.

Nikkel is also looking forward to her role on the DFS board. “I would love to help voice the views of students and be a leader for DFS. I’d love to help with an organization that is helping students reach college goals,” she said.

Also serving on the board this fall are president Patty Zylstra, along with fellow board members Wendy Aalbers, David Barnes, Morry Blankespoor, senior Pella liason Kathy Connolly, Deb Ditzenberger, Kathy Jaarsma-Tripp, PC senior liaison Dylan Nikkel, Jim Palmer, Marci Stravers, Teresa Thompson, Noreen Vander Wal, Dan Van Kooten, Mike Vint and Lisa Walters. More information about Pella Dollars for Scholars can be found at