OVER 50 YEARS AGO, good friends and neighbors Bill and Marilyn Holmquist and Chuck and Marilou Chapman were enjoying a bridge game together. At that time, Marilou Chapman was the secretary of the West Bend Scholarship Fund, Inc. and Marilyn Holmquist was the treasurer of the West Bend Community High Schools Alumni Foundation, Inc. Bill Holmquist suggested that if the two organizations would merge, he would ask the Ziegler Company to sponsor a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert in West Bend. With the best interests of the community in mind, both women were able to take that suggestion back to their organizations and the West Bend Community and Alumni Scholarship Foundation, also known as Columns, was born.
Since its inception, many students in West Bend have benefited greatly through scholarships given by Columns. In 2022, Columns alone awarded over $350,000 in scholarships to graduating East and West High School students.
The first MSO Concert was held in 1972 and this year in honor of its 50th Anniversary, the concert has been sponsored by the Holmquist family and the concert is dedicated in memory of Bill Holmquist. Through the years, the community has benefited from a wonderful concert where the tickets sold each year go directly towards scholarships