Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund Committee donates $4,000 to local holiday charities that benefit children in Hickory

HICKORY, NC (December 9, 2021) — The Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund Committee donated $4,000 to local charities to benefit children this holiday season. 

Hickory Fire Department’s Bikes for Tykes program and Hickory Police Department’s Cops for Tots program each received a $2,000 donation. This is the sixth year in a row that the fund has supported these two charitable programs.

Firefighter Austin Teague assembles a bicycle donated for Hickory Fire Department’s annual Bikes for Tykes program.
Master Police Officer Stephanie Roberts shops for soccer balls and other sports equipment for Hickory Police Department’s annual Cops for Tots Christmas Wish House.

Each year, Hickory Fire Department collects new and gently used bicycles and tricycles for local underprivileged kids through its Bikes for Tykes program. The money provided by the Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund will enable the program to purchase approximately 50 new bicycles for children that live in Hickory. These bikes, along with others donated by the community, will be distributed to local children through the Catawba County Christmas Bureau. 

Similarly, during the holiday season, Hickory Police Department collects new toys and monetary donations for its Cops for Tots Christmas Wish House, which benefits disadvantaged children ages 13 and under. The donation from the Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund will go towards purchasing sports equipment for children living in Hickory.

The Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund was created in 2015 in memory of former Hickory Mayor William R. “Bill” McDonald III. One of Mayor McDonald’s last wishes before he passed away in May 2014 was for the City to establish a fund that would allow any child who lives in Hickory the opportunity to participate in Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism programs and activities. 

“Bill is smiling from heaven knowing that money collected in his name is going to boys and girls in Hickory – a place he loved with all his heart,” said Mayor McDonald’s wife, Susan B. McDonald. “Bill wanted all children in Hickory to stay active and be healthy and he also believed that kids learned so much about life through recreational activities. My family and I are so happy to know that many children who do not have much, will now have new basketballs, soccer balls, bicycles, and more on Christmas morning because of the scholarship fund in his name.” 

Today, the Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund provides or assists children, ages 15 and under, with fees and equipment costs for City of Hickory recreation programs. Any child residing within the Hickory city limits may benefit from the scholarship fund. Potential recipients must complete an application for consideration. Recipients cannot have been expelled from school or suspended from any Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism program.

To be considered for a scholarship, all deadlines associated with the application process must be met. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis, if there are funds available. The scholarship amount a child receives depends on the family’s financial status and the availability of scholarship funds. Recipients may not exceed two awards per calendar year. The Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund Committee will have the final decision on all awards.

In addition to accepting donations throughout the year, money is raised for the fund by Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism events, like the Trick or Trot 5K and annual Christmas parade.

For more information about the Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund, please visit or call 828-322-7046. For more information about Bikes for Tykes, call 828-323-7420. For more information about Cops for Tots, call 828-261-2691.

Support the Caldwell Journal for as little as $1 a month through Patreon. Thank you!