Scholarship Gala A Tradition In The Making

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New for 2007, graduating high school seniors will receive their secondary education scholarships on stage from members of the local organizations awarding them.

The Scholarship Gala begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at the PHS auditorium. In the past, students received their scholarships at the graduation ceremony.

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Students ask questions about the criteria of locally offered scholarships in early February at the Payson Rotary Club Scholarship Fair, sponsored by the Payson Roundup.

"There will be one recognition of scholarship recipients at commencement where the students all stand up together," said gala organizer Eileen Daniels.

Daniels and her friend, Cherie Griffin, with the approval of the school district, want to make the Scholarship Gala a special event for seniors, their friends and families. The event will celebrate the seniors' achievement and recognize the fund-raising local organizations have been doing all year long for the students.

There will be appetizers, a PowerPoint presentation about the 2007 seniors and their activities during the school year.

National and state scholarships will be also announced.

Representatives from local organizations will be on hand to present their scholarships.

A letter of explanation will be sent out to seniors and parents. But, for the event to be a success, parents need to contact the Payson High School counseling center at (928) 472-5725 and add their teen's name to the list of scholarship recipients.

"Longhorn Culinary Arts students will be baking the (appetizers)," Daniels said.

Donations of dollars or ingredients will be welcome.

Daniels heard friends talking about the Scholarship Gala tradition for Mingus Union high School seniors and she thought, "Why couldn't we do that in Payson?"

Auditorium seats are not only more comfortable than hard bleachers, the gala means the commencement ceremony will be shorter and those who simply want to see their child graduate will not have to wait through the many scholarship announcements.

For more information, contact Daniels at (928) 474-6645 or Griffin at (928) 474-9535.

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