Steamboat resident bequeaths estate for student scholarships |

Steamboat resident bequeaths estate for student scholarships

— The liquidated assets of a Steamboat resident who died in 2013 have been used to create a scholarship fund and benefit a handful of programs at local schools.

Robert Welborn bequeathed his house and car to the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, which in turn used the profits from the sale of the house to fund a $300,000 endowment scholarship fund and donate to other local organizations.

The fund will provide scholarships to students from Routt and Moffat counties who attend a trade or vocational school or who pursue a career in engineering or the sciences, which were interests of Welborn’s.

Welborn’s car was given to Hayden’s student technical education center, where junior and senior students from the area practiced mechanical repairs on the vehicle and then sold the car to purchase tools and equipment for the center.

“The gifts from Robert Welborn allow our vocational program to function as the best high school shop in the Valley,” Hayden High School career and technical education director Kevin Klecker said in a release. “These gifts help make all our students’ experiences at the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center the best part of their day, which keeps them in school.”

Originally from Arkansas, Welborn studied chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas before moving to Steamboat in 1999, where he enjoyed the ski area and Yampa Valley’s agricultural and mining traditions.

He was a “quiet individual” in the community who had minimal interaction with the foundation, other than setting up the legacy gift, according to Yampa Valley Community Foundation Executive Director Mark Andersen.

Some of Weldon’s gift was given to Yampa Valley High School, an alternative school within the Steamboat Springs School District. The school created its own continuing education scholarship fund to help pay for post-secondary study for graduates of the school.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help students who might not otherwise have the financial resources needed to continue their education beyond high school,” said Chuck Rosemund, lead teacher at the school.

Additional proceeds of Welborn’s estate were given as gifts to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Andersen said he didn’t know much of Welborn’s history or whether he made many donations to community organizations before, making this legacy gift even more special.

“It’s a wonderful thing, and part of what makes this gift unique is that he wasn’t a donor everywhere, but he had a passion for kids and having them further their education,” Andersen said.

Applications are now being accepted for the Robert J. Welborn Scholarship Fund as part of the foundation’s regular scholarship award cycle. More information can be found at

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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