The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation has awarded 22 college scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year to Chattanooga area students representing 16 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 18 years, the foundation has awarded 517 scholarships totaling $912,000.
The foundation added a new scholarship this year honoring Jan Moses, who served as executive director of the foundation for several years.
“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.’’
Winners for the 2020-21 academic year are:
Marion Andrews, Signal Mountain High School graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Connor Beach, Ooltewah High School graduate, attending the University of Mississippi
Saylor Brown, Notre Dame High School 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
Logan Griffith, Walker Valley High School graduate, attending Middle Tennessee State University, Volley for a Cure Scholarship
Karis Kelly, Gilmer High School graduate, attending the University of Georgia
Andrew Marshall, Silverdale Baptist Academy graduate, attending Chattanooga State Community College
Samuel McArthur, Gilmer High School graduate, attending the University of North Georgia, Jan Moses Scholarship
Samuel McDonald, Walker Valley High School graduate, attending Sewanee: The University of the South
Matthew Merritt, McCallie School graduate, attending Yale University, Guardian Angel Scholarship
Tori Mitchell, Rhea County High School graduate, attending Tusculum University
Emalee Nix, Girls Preparatory School graduate, attending UTK
Luke Qualey, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Gorski Family Scholarship
Emily Rye, Baylor School graduate, attending UTC
Zoe Rye, Baylor School graduate, attending UTC
Allie Sanders, Soddy-Daisy High School graduate, attending UTC, Wanda Weller Scholarship
Lana Shea, Center for Creative Arts graduate, attending UTK
Madison Sims, Baylor School graduate, attending Alabama A&M University
Nikki VanDusen, Walker Valley High School graduate, attending ETSU, Tom and Kaky Bible Scholarship
Vincent Vaughan, Bradley Central High School graduate, attending Lee University
Jaheim Williams, Central High School graduate, attending UTC
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 490-4555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the website at www.melfoundation.org or find more information on the foundation’s Facebook page.