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August 2011 Check Presentation

Monday, August 22, 2011


Making beautiful music involves weaving together many elements, with each instrument and voice playing a vital part in the collaboration. And this applies to a community as well, where each individual plays an essential role in making the community flourish into something strong, beautiful and meaningful.

No one realizes both of these truths better than Nat West, retired Vice President of Winter Haven Hospital, who recently combined his talented musicianship – he plays a variety of musical instruments, and has worked hard to expand the Friday evening activities of music, art and education in Winter Haven’s Central Park – with his passionate devotion to bettering the community. And a large part of creating that magnificent harmony in the community involves many education initiatives that Nat has been involved in around Winter Haven and Polk County, including building relationships between the Winter Haven Hospital’s Foundation and Polk State College, helping to secure scholarships along the way.

Nat’s wife Jane is also deeply committed to community service – such as her past involvement with Polk Training Center for Handicapped Citizens, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Winter Haven Family YMCA, and The Garden Club of Winter Haven. She and Nat have both been honored by the community as recipients of The Banker’s Cup. The couple has recently opened their hearts even further to Polk State College by establishing the Nat & Jane West Scholarship to help students achieve their dream of a higher education. The endowed scholarship will benefit students in perpetuity, without a lot of specific criteria, as Nat and Jane’s main focus is just to help students. Additionally, they recently completed their pledge early to ensure that their entire gift would remain eligible for matching funds, thereby leveraging the maximum benefit to our students. 

The Wests are motivated by a deep compassion for those in need, and by their desire to thank Polk State College for its partnership with Winter Haven Hospital. “In the healthcare arena, it’s never been no, it’s always been yes from Polk State College,” said Nat.

In a check presentation ceremony on August 22, 2011 at the District Board of Trustees meeting on the Winter Haven campus, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored the Wests for their generous gift. Nat and Jane West received heartfelt thanks from Jerry Miller, Vice Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, on behalf of the Polk State College District Board of Trustees, the Polk State College Foundation Board, and the students who will ultimately benefit from their generosity.

“When a contribution is from community members who simply want to make a positive impact in the lives of a Polk State College students because they recognize and value the difference the College and Foundation makes throughout all of Polk County, it’s truly inspirational and motivational to continue to do what we all do every day to help the College and its students,” said Miller.  Pictured left to right: Ernie Pinner, Linda Pilkington, Jerry Miller, Jane West, Nat West, Dr. Eileen Holden, Rick Garcia, Mark Turner, Dan Dorrell and Greg Littleton.