The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation has awarded 17 college scholarships for the upcoming academic year to Chattanooga area students representing 12 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 16 years, the foundation has awarded over 475 scholarships totaling $792,000.
“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.’’
The 2018 winners are:
Emma Beach, Central High School graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Destinee Beyer, Walker Valley High School graduate, attending Lee University, Volley for a Cure Scholarship
Bayley Bishop, Bradley County Virtual School graduate, attending Lee University
Callie Bishop, Bradley County Virtual School graduate, attending Cleveland State Community College
Anna Cate, Signal Mountain High School graduate, attending UTK
Joy Green, Signal Mountain High graduate, attending Appalachian State University
Hannah Holbrook, Soddy-Daisy High School graduate, attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Karis Kelly, Gilmer High School graduate, attending the University of Georgia, Wanda Weller Scholarship
Luke McDonald, Walker Valley High graduate, attending Belmont University
Samuel McDonald, Walker Valley High graduate, attending Sewanee: The University of the South
Damon Miller, home school graduate, attending UTC
Jason Roth, Signal Mountain High School graduate, attending Virginia Tech
Lindsay Rufolo, Girls Preparatory School graduate, attending Davidson College, Rock City Scholarship
Olivia Samples, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending Samford University
Katie Shields, Silverdale Baptist Academy graduate, attending UTC
Michael Signiski, Notre Dame High School graduate, attending UTC
EmiLee White, Sale Creek High School graduate, attending UTK
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.