For the 24th year, the Shawano Dollars for Scholars held their annual gala in celebration of those graduating high school seniors who will be continuing on their education.
While students were awarded their scholarships last Monday, board member Michael Sleeper explains the purpose of the celebration and how far the Shawano Dollars for Scholars chapter has come.
“This gala was the original funding mechanism for [the scholarships], Sleeper explained. “Since that time, we’ve been very fortunate with the contributions from the community. We now have an endowment fund that enables us to award scholarships to all graduating seniors, as well as continuing education scholarships for students in their undergraduate studies.”
Despite the city’s modest size, Shawano has one of the largest Dollars for Scholars chapters in the country, which says a lot about the importance the community places on ensuring student success.
Idell Johnston is the scholarship chair and is the go-to board member for students who asked for assistance while applying for the scholarships. She’s seen first-hand the kind of community support that Shawano has to offer.
“I’ve been in the Shawano community for 10 years and this event always amazes me,” Johnston said. “The amount of support that Shawano has for their students, the amount of help, there are so many people that are so involved and they want to help these children succeed. You don’t see that in every community.”
The evening featured entertainment from the Shawano Jazz Band and boasted impressive raffle drawings, such as a 60-inch TV with sound bar, a Mathews V2 cross bow, a kayak, Billy Joel concert tickets, and much more.
This year there were over 100 scholarships awarded, totaling over $200,000.