The Suzanne Johnson Scholarship endowment serves as a testament to the generosity of the Burnet community. What was originally established as a one time memorial fund has now transformed into an annual fundraiser that continues to grow exponentially each year.
The endowment was created through the Hill Country Community Foundation, and was co-founded by Suzanne's husband, Cary Johnson along with his children Jessica Lindsey, Cari Ann Whitehead and Jack Johnson. The Johnson family moved to Burnet in 1981, where Cary Johnson now serves as President of First State Bank.
"Mom and dad both always felt like it was very important to be an integral part of the growth in the community," said Jessica Lindsey, their eldest daughter. "Mom loved her community and was always so very supportive.”
Suzanne Johnson passed away in 2011 after a three year battle with brain cancer. Since the creation of the endowment, they've raised $892,376.57, creating $81,000.00 in scholarships.
"It's a testament to this community and how generous they are, and it's also a testament to mom and what people thought of her," said Cari Anne Whitehead, the youngest Johnson daughter. "Without those two things, we wouldn't be where we are.”
"I am so proud of the way the people of Burnet have honored the memory of my mother, " said Jack Johnson. "The Suzanne Johnson endowment will benefit Burnet High School graduates for generations to come, and I can't think of a more fitting legacy for a life well lived."
A fundraiser dinner is held every year in honor of Suzanne Johnson and the legacy she has left behind. The yearly event is made possible thanks to the dedicated support from the staff at the First State Bank and others from the Burnet community.
"She was such a great mother, wife, and community volunteer," said Lindsey. "We can strive to be a little bit like she was, and teach our children to do the same."