Cincinnati, Ohio - - The Cincinnati Reds announce today the club will take the lead in establishing the Johnny Bench Scholarship Fund to honor Bench upon his retirement as one of the greatest players in the team's history.
Bench will retire at the end of the 1983 season after spending all of his 17 years in the Major Leagues with the Reds. Johnny Bench Night at Riverfront Stadium will be Saturday evening, Sept. 17, when the Reds play the Houston Astros. Bench will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.
The fund will provide financial assistance annually to a young man or woman to attend college. While specific criteria for the awarding of the scholarship will be determined later, the fund will be directed towards athletes with good academic credentials and special needs or situations.
"We feel this is a unique way to honor Johnny," said Reds' President Bob Howsam. "As scholarships are awarded each year, we'll have an opportunity remember Johnny's contributions to Cincinnati baseball. We think the fund offers Johnny's friends and fans a way to say 'thank you' to him."
"I'm pleased with the idea of a scholarship fund and the fact that we'll have the opportunity to provide an education for someone who might not otherwise be able to attend college," said Bench.
The Johnny Bench Scholarship Fund will be established in the Greater Cincinnati Foundation with the Fifth-Third Bank of Cincinnati serving as trustee. Bench will serve as chairman of a committee with complete responsibility for the selection of scholarship recipients.
Contributions to the fund will create a permanent endowment fund which will continue to grow in future years through club-sponsored and other fund-raising activities. Income from the fund's principal will provide annual scholarship(s).
(August 17, 1983)
In 2018, the Johnny Bench Scholarship Foundation will be celebrating its 35 year. The core values of the fund, as you just read from the Cincinnati Reds press release in 1983, continue to this day. If you would like to support the JBSF and student athletes, consider making a donation today.