In April, the Washington Wine Industry Foundation announced a new scholarship fund, created in memory of Albert Don, an industry innovator and longtime vineyard operations manager for Wyckoff Farms who died in February.
Founded by the Don family of Prosser, the Albert Don Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide at least $3,000 to a student studying either viticulture or wine business, according to a news release from the foundation.
In a statement, the team at Wyckoff Farms said Don was a leader who was eager to both learn and teach, someone who saw the potential in people — and grapes — and was willing to push both to achieve success. He was known for encouraging communication and planning so that things could be done right the first time.
The Washington Winegrowers Association honored Don as the 2003 grower of the year. He worked at Wyckoff for over 30 years and, during that time, helped to pioneer mechanized farming practices for the industry.
“Albert’s curiosity and observations impacted those around him, and he was not shy to dispense his thoughts,” said colleague and friend Chuck Wyckoff. “He donated to the Washington Wine Industry Foundation because he believed in learning and providing for others to learn.” Wyckoff encouraged others to donate to the scholarship fund in Don’s memory and to support the future of the grape industry.
The Don scholarship joins the foundation’s scholarship program, which will offer more than $30,000 this year to support students studying viticulture, enology and related fields, according to Marissa Collins Person, deputy director of the foundation. Other scholarships include the Horse Heaven Hills Scholarship, which gives preference to students from that region; the Walter J. Clore Scholarship, supported by the winegrowers’ association; the George and Susan Carter Scholarship; and the Foundation Fund Scholarship.
Since 2002, the foundation has awarded over $350,000 to more than 220 students, Collins Person said.
Applications for 2021 are due by May 31. More information about donating to the funds, or for students to submit applications, can be found online at: washingtonwinefoundation.org.