The Freedom From Religion Foundation recently received a $9,259.92 bequest from longtime officer and Foundation member Catherine Fahringer, who shook up theocrats as a San Antonio activist for more than two decades.
“Catherine was not at all wealthy, which makes her remembrance of the Foundation and her generosity all the more touching,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.
Catherine, who died at age 87 in 2008, was ardently interested in encouraging young freethinkers and was a one-woman advertisement for freethought activism.
Last year, before receiving Catherine’s bequest, the Foundation announced a student activist award in her memory, and an additional $3,802.50 in donations for the scholarship was sent in by kind Foundation members in her memory.
The Catherine Fahringer Memorial Student Activist Award is $1,000 annually.
In addition, a generous West Coast couple, also wishing to encourage freethought in young people, has endowed an annual Thomas Jefferson Youth Activist Award (not restricted to students) of $1,000 annually.
Previous recipients of youth/student activist awards have included state/church litigants, students who overcame school district censorship to start freethought clubs or who protested mandatory recitations of the godly Pledge of Allegiance, and students such as Darrell Lambert, who was expelled as an atheist Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America.
“FFRF is looking for students and youths who show special courage or dedication in speaking out to defend secularism or promote freethought,” said Dan Barker, Foundation co-president.