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June 4, 2013

Oneonta Dollars for Scholars fund breaks record with $37K

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A record number of scholarships will be awarded at today’s Oneonta Dollars for Scholars presentations, officials said.

The reception takes place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Hunt Union Ballroom at SUNY Oneonta.

A total of 56 students out of a class of about 160 at Oneonta High School will be acknowledged, awards day program chairwoman Carol Baker said. Last year, the total was 53.

Each award is for a minimum of $500. They’re sponsored by community members, including residents, businesses and organizations.

“We have been very fortunate to have good leadership and participation to carry on the mission that all Oneonta students deserve the opportunity for higher education,” Chapter President Jackie Rowe said. “We want our students to know their community supports them.”

More than $37,000 will be distributed through the awards that are given to students entering two-or four-year colleges, universities or vocational and technical programs. Each year the amount grows larger, Rowe said.

“We have been blessed with a very supportive community. They have come through, even in these difficult financial times.”

Oneonta City School District Interim superintendent Dave Rowley said “it’s an outstanding scholarship program. It’s a great way to go from high school to college.”

Since the chapter began in 1991, 718 students have received financial assistance through the program. They are selected through a blind judging process to assure objectivity, Baker said.

It’s based on a point system that evaluates students’ applications in several categories based upon the criteria established when the individual award was created.

Because funds are limited, the volunteers have to work hard every year to increase the opportunities for students, Baker said, at such events as the wreath and swag sale in the fall and the March phone-athon.

Anyone wanting to donate to the program can send contributions to Oneonta Dollars for Scholars at P.O. Box 1083, Oneonta, N.Y. 13820.