Payson students who plan to continue onto college or technical schools are invited to the first annual Payson Rotary Club Scholarship Fair, sponsored by the Payson Roundup.
Representatives from 25 local organizations will be present from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium to answer questions and offer applications for the scholarships they provide.
"Scholarships give students the opportunity and incentive to go on to school," said Cherie Griffin, treasurer of the Rim Country Optimist Club. "If they have the monetary boost to get them over the hump of needing money for books, transportation and classes it helps then get through the fear of how they will survive the first semester."
In-state tuition averages around $5,500 a year at state universities. For private universities, that amount can more than quadruple.
Payson Rotary Club Scholarship FairWhen: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2Where: Rim Country Middle School gymnasiumCost: Free.Call: 474-5251 ext. 115
The Optimist Club awards three scholarships based on need and academic work. One is given to a local senior at the club's discretion. The other two are Chance Amon Memorial scholarships of $500 each, awarded to Center for Success graduates.
Graduating seniors of 2006 faced their new schools with $74,300 in scholarships awarded by the members of local clubs, organizations and special memorial funds.
(This figure does not include college scholarships awarded from the universities, one-time scholarships or full-ride scholarships.)
"Children are our future, and if we are not willing to step up and help our children get a better education, then shame on us," said Nancy Guyon, president of Rim Country Classic Auto Club.
The Auto Club raises money through their spring Beeline Cruise-In car show. Last year, all the funds they raised went to local charities because there were no student applicants for their club's scholarship money.
With this scholarship fair, that is not likely to be the case this year.
People from all walks of life in the Rim Country contribute to students' futures.
Through scholarships of the Gary Hardt Memorial Fund, members of the Payson Pro-Rodeo Committee show their dedication to keeping our Western heritage alive.
There are Realtors who contribute to their professional organization Central Arizona Board of Realtors, which awards an annual scholarship.
There are Arizona Public Service employees who dip into their paychecks each week and together support a $1,000 scholarship.
This year, the Payson Roundup will offer a $500 scholarship to students interested in pursuit of a career in journalism.
Other organizations that will be at the Scholarship Fair include Mogollon Health Alliance, Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country, Payson Rimstone Rock Club, Philanthropic Education Organization, PHS Guidance Office, Jack Morris Memorial Scholarship, Payson Moose Lodge #852, Payson Lions Club, Payson Choral Society, Tonto Community Concert Association, Payson Elks Lodge BPOE #5154, Daughters of Gila County Pioneers, Kiwanis Club of Zane Grey Country, Tonto Apache Tribe, Rim Country Rotary and Payson Rotary Club.
For more information, contact Autumn Phillips at (928) 474-5251 ext. 115.