To the Daily Sun,
The Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation has been working hard over the past few months preparing for the annual scholarships to be awarded. Each spring the board members review and rate hundreds of applications submitted. Then donors are invited to participate by making recommendations for their awards. Presentations are made to current graduates at local high school award ceremonies and others are notified by mail.
Who would have thought, back in 1956, that this idea, started by a small group of concerned citizens and supported by just eight local civic groups and businesses, would blossom into the remarkable organization we have today. From that small start in 1956, with awards totaling just $2,650 to 16 recipients, we have grown so that this year we awarded in excess of $311,400 to 305 local students from 232 donor funds. A total of $162,750 was awarded to 159 incoming freshman, and $148,650 to 146 upperclassmen.
Our official 60th anniversary will be Feb. 16, 2016. This year marks six decades of scholarships being awarded through the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, bringing the total awards given to more than $5.2 million, helping more than 4,600 students from 1956 through 2015.
All this help and money for our local students comes thanks to the generosity of about 525 donors over the years. We, however, are merely the conduit. It is the generosity of so many local people that makes all of this possible. Many of our scholarship funds are memorials set up by families when a loved one passes or by individuals in advance of their death. Each memorial tells the story of a special person. Someone who is no longer with us, but is still helping those they have left behind.
Other scholarship funds come from civic groups and area businesses, all investing in the youth of our local communities. And then there are the thousands who have contributed to specific memorial funds or special fundraisers.
Paulette Loughlin, President
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation
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