MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation Announces Winners

Monday, August 19, 2019

The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation has awarded 20 college scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year to Chattanooga area students representing 10 high schools in the region.

The foundation is a college scholarship program for children who have either lost a parent to breast cancer or have a parent who is a breast cancer survivor. The awards are designed to ease the financial and emotional burdens faced by families dealing with the disease.

The organization was founded in 2002 by MaryEllen Locher, a well-known WTVC news anchor and health reporter. She started the foundation because she was concerned about the future of her own son. Ms. Locher died of breast cancer in 2005 after her third bout with cancer. Her son, Alex Burd, now serves as executive director of his mother’s foundation.

Over the past 17 years, the foundation has awarded almost 500 scholarships totaling $852,000. 

“On behalf of my mother, our family and the board of directors, the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation is honored to provide these exceptional students with assistance in pursuing their educational goals,’’ Mr. Burd said. “It’s a blessing and privilege to contribute to their bright futures.’’

Through the help of its supporters, the foundation is providing four new scholarships this year: The Tom and Kaky Bible Scholarship, the Lisa Shields Scholarship, the Gorski Family Scholarship and the Guardian Angel Scholarship. 

“Each of the named scholarships are in honor of individuals and families who have helped grow the foundation and its purpose,’’ Mr. Burd said. “The Guardian Angel Scholarship was established by the foundation’s board of directors to honor the memory of scholarship recipients’ mothers who passed away while the recipients were enrolled in college and receiving foundation support—Merri Cate, Lisa Shields, and Kelly Moore. While it is with great sadness that we lost these wonderful mothers too early, it is an honor to carry on their legacies through this scholarship for years to come.’’

2019 winners are: 
-Hannah Barry, Dalton High graduate, attending the University of Georgia, Wanda Weller Scholarship
-Emma Beach, Central High graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
-Bethany Brown, Walker Valley High graduate, attending UTK
-Lindsay Gilbert, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending East Tennessee State University
-Weston Gilbert, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending ETSU, Lisa Shields -Scholarship
-Oliver Goodgame, Signal Mountain High graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
-Karis Kelly, Gilmer High School graduate, attending the University of Georgia
-Emily Kemp, Whitwell High graduate, attending Lee University
-Samuel McArthur, Gilmer High graduate, attending the University of North Georgia
-Luke McDonald, Walker Valley High graduate, attending Belmont University
-Samuel McDonald, Walker Valley High graduate, attending Sewanee: The University of the South, Rock City Scholarship
-Anna Nash, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending Samford University
-Jack Poss, Signal Mountain High graduate, attending Dartmouth College
-Emily Rye, Baylor School graduate, attending Florida Southwestern State College
-Zoe Rye, Baylor School graduate, attending UTC, Guardian Angel Scholarship
-Lucy Sandhoff, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending Covenant College
-Emma Sneed, Soddy-Daisy High graduate, attending Lee University, Gorski Family Scholarship
-Nikki VanDusen, Walker Valley High graduate, attending ETSU, Tom and Kaky Bible Scholarship
-Vincent Vaughan, Bradley Central High graduate, attending Lee University
-Luke Whitney, Signal Mountain High graduate, attending Wake Forest University

Funds for the foundation are raised through special events, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and private grants. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible. 

The foundation also sponsors Mel’s Club, a breast health awareness and education program for teen girls. Topics covered include myths and misconceptions about breast cancer, prevention and detection of the disease and how to do a breast self-exam. Mel’s Club also includes remarks from a breast cancer survivor. Presentations are available for schools, churches, civic organizations and clubs. 

For more information about the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation or to schedule a “Mel’s Club’’ presentation, contact Cindy Pare, administrator, at 423-490-4555 or cindy@melfoundation.org.


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