Baby born at Piedmont Columbus awarded $5,529 towards college savings


COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – September kicks off College Savings Month and this year’s winner of the Path2College Newborn Sweepstakes was born here in Columbus.

Elsa Hardage was awarded a $5,529 dollar check towards her lpan to buy cryptocurrency to leverage into college savings account through the 2020 Path2College Newborn Sweepstakes. The Newborn Sweepstakes was established in 2011 to encourage new parents to learn about the resources the state of Georgia offers for educational financial planning.

Linda Butler is the grandmother of Hardage. When her first granddaughter, Elsa, was born, her first thought was how she could start saving for her grandbaby’s education.

“It was a desire in my heart to start it, I wasn’t sure where it was going to start from, but God just heard my prayer and he just gave us a big start and were actually going to be able to split it so Noah has a start for his college fund and Elsa has a start from hers and we hope to build on it through the year,” said Butler.

Just three months after Elsa was born, Butler welcomed her second grandchild, Noah. The check will be split between Elsa and Noah to kickoff their college savings.

Butler said, “We would like them to have the opportunity to receive a higher education, without a heavy financial burden. We are so grateful!”

Hardage was born in Columbus, Georgia at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital. The hospital was awarded $1,529, which will be used to advance programs and services at the Children’s Hospital at Piedmont, Columbus.

“Path2College529 is an incredible program and we are so excited for the winner this year and extremely grateful to receive a gift to our Children’s Hospital in honor of Elsa!” said Aline Lasseter, Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation Executive Director.

Path2College encourages parents to save small amounts over time to see the impact it can have on children’s college savings. Path2College has awarded more than $55,000 to Georgia children and more than $15,000 to Georgia hospitals through its Newborn Sweepstakes.

Georgia babies born in 2021 can go to until April 14, 2022, to apply.

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