Lt. Gov. Bill Halter revealed today a primary source of money to push his amendment to legalize a state lottery for college scholarships. It's the Bailey family, active in real estate and investment in Little Rock. They've contributed $300,000 to the cause. John Bailey will be treasurer of the lottery campaign.
Full release on the jump.
HALTER NEWS RELEASE
ARKANSAS FAMILY PLEDGES $300,000 TO BRING
SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY TO ARKANSAS
Little Rock -- Hope for Arkansas today announced it has received an incredibly generous $300,000 pledge from an Arkansas family committed to establishing a scholarship lottery that will provide opportunity where it has never been available before along with hundreds of millions of dollars in new scholarship money for Arkansans.
Little Rock businessman John S. Bailey, who has also agreed to serve as Hope for Arkansas’ treasurer and his wife Patti joined with his father, Dr. Ted Bailey and his wife, Sharon, to make their pledge.
“My wife Patti and I were raised in families where it was expected for us to go to college,” said John Bailey, who serves as the C.E.O./Manager of Bailey Properties, the family’s owned and operated Little Rock real estate business. “We had a support system in place that encouraged us and provided us with the necessary resources to attain a higher education.”
“Patti and I feel fortunate that we are able to provide our own four children with the resources and encouragement that they will need to attain a higher education,” continued Bailey, who noted one of his children just graduated from the University of Arkansas, two are currently enrolled in college, and one is in tenth grade. “But we know there are families in Arkansas who aren’t as fortunate as we are who would truly benefit from this effort to provide new scholarships and grants by a state run lottery.”
“I have been a board member for the Little Rock Boys and Girls Clubs and now the Central Arkansas Boys and Girls Clubs for more than 15 years,” remarked Bailey. “I have had several kids tell me that they never knew college was an option for them because no one in their families had ever gone. I know in my head and my heart that when Arkansas provides more scholarships through this initiative that we will see more Arkansans achieve their full potential.”
“The Murphy Oil Company, recently provided us an example of what can happen to a community when they generously give scholarships to their local public high school to kids to attend any school in or out of state,” said Bailey. “They have rejuvenated a sense of public pride and excitement in my late mother’s hometown of El Dorado. It’s an inspiration to us all. We believe that what is happening in El Dorado will also happen across our state once this scholarship program is up and running.”
“What an amazing gift to Arkansas,” said Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. “The Bailey family’s incredibly generous contribution could pave the pathway to new opportunities and a better quality of life for thousands of Arkansans who would otherwise be unable to attain a higher education. I am proud to have them on the Hope for Arkansas team.” Hope for Arkansas continues to work to get a ballot initiative before Arkansas voters so they can decide for themselves whether to have a scholarship lottery for Arkansas.