Longtime Livermore residents Donna and Art Pontau have established community college scholarship to be awarded annually in honor of Blanche Embick Pontau, Art’s mother.

Blanche Embick was born and raised in Philadelphia during the Great Depression; her family struggled financially. Blanche grew up resilient and was among the first women to enlist in the U.S. Army. She proudly served as a weather observer in Florida during WW-II. After the war, she attended Temple University on the GI Bill and graduated early with a B.A. degree in psychology. While working for the Salvation Army, she met future husband, enlisted Navy seaman, Erwin Pontau.

As a Navy wife, Blanche lovingly raised three kids in San Diego, emphasizing the importance of school, church, and heathy food and exercise. Generous with her time, she was a proud member of her local Lutheran church for over 55 years. Blanche enjoyed word and number puzzles, macramé, puppetry, and light-hearted music. She managed a resourceful, modest household budget. The family prospered; all three children did well in school and went on to graduate from college, start their own healthy families, and enjoy productive careers.

The Blanche Embick Pontau Community College Scholarship is inspired by Mom’s resilience and kindness and intended to help support an important two years of lifetime learning. – Art and Donna Pontau

Donna and Art also established the Richard E. Zufan Tool Scholarship in honor of Donna’s father.

Applicants must be a graduate (of any age) of the Livermore School District and may be pursuing AA/AS degrees, Career Certificates or planning to transfer to pursue a BA/BS degrees. There is no minimum GPA requirement. To honor Blanche’s military service, the preference is to award the scholarships to student-veterans.