ESCANABA - That wasn't the wind you heard last week; it was a collective sigh of relief from the Elks National Foundation's Class of 2012 Most Valuable Student and Legacy Awards scholarship recipients.
These 750 students, each boasting an outstanding academic record and an ongoing commitment to service, can breathe easier knowing they've received a prestigious scholarship.
"Despite the excitement of getting into college, the burden of actually paying for higher education always loomed in the background," says Josh Hallifrisch, sponsored by Escanaba, Lodge No. 354. "Thanks to the Michigan Elks National Foundation's generosity, I don't have to choose my college based on finances."
In 2012, the ENF awarded 500 Most Valuable Student scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $60,000, and 250 Legacy Awards of $4,000 each. Today's Elks scholars become tomorrow's Elks, and the Elks National Foundation is pleased to welcome these students into their Elks family.
This year's top MVS winners, who will each receive a $60,000 college scholarship, are Joanne Dynak, sponsored by Chicago Northshore, Ill., Lodge No. 1316, and David Lim, sponsored by Santa Clarita, Calif., Lodge No. 2379.
Joanne's award enables her to study international law at the top-ranked U.S. school of her choice. Thanks to David's scholarship, he will be studying economics at Harvard University next fall.
Each year, the ENF provides $3.59 million in college scholarships. The Most Valuable Student scholarship competition invites all graduating high school seniors wishing to pursue four-year degrees on a full-time basis to apply through their local Lodge.
Applicants are judged based on scholarship, leadership and financial need. Legacy Awards are available to the children and grandchildren of active Elks members. Applicants must exhibit the core values of the Elks National Foundation: knowledge, charity, community and integrity.
"I am honored to be a recipient of a 2010 ENF Legacy Award," said Alex Pickard, sponsored by Escanaba Lodge 354. "I am proud to be a son of an Elk, and as an Elks scholar, I will live up to the goals and morals that helped me achieve this award."
Applications for the 2013 Most Valuable Student and Legacy Awards contests will be available Sept. 1. Contact Escanaba 354 Scholarship Chairman, John Pickard P.E.R. at 428-1920.
For more information on ENF scholarships or to read about current Elks scholars, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars, contact the ENF scholarship office by phone at (773) 755-4732, or email at email@example.com.