The Marysville Rotary Education Foundation gave out $173,500 in scholarships during their Awards Ceremony night on May 22.
The foundation from the Marysville Rotary Club supports students from the Marysville, Lakewood and Granite Falls school districts every year with flexible scholarships to be used for tuition or textbooks.
“This will be the highest amount we’ve ever given out by a significant amount,” said Gayl Spillman, treasurer for the Marysville Rotary Education Foundation.
The foundation also gave out their largest scholarship ever, as well, with a $20,000 award to one Marysville Getchell High School student.
Students come to the event to get their scholarship, learn how much they have received and to be recognized by the community.
“We look forward to this night every year. And I think the reason is that we see such great things with the young people in our community,” said Jon Nehring, current president of the Marysville Rotary Club and the mayor of Marysville.
He said he is always impressed with “how much they take on, the high level of achievement and how competitive things are for folks heading into college.”
Spillman helps read through the applications and decide the amount to award to students and said she is always inspired by the students.
“The neatest thing about this event is learning about these students. We had 88 students apply this year and when you read about the lives and the struggles that those 88 students have and the difficulties they’ve overcome, it’s the most feel-good moment you can have,” she said.
She said reading the students' work gives her hope for the coming generations.
“Too often today we say that the youth are worthless, they don’t have any of this or any of that, but that’s not true for those that are going to be here tonight. Many have overcome great obstacles to get where they are,” she said.
For many Rotary members, the scholarships are about giving the youth the best opportunity available.
“You have to invest in our future generation if you invest in anything. And Rotary is all about serving our community, and who would we want to serve besides our youth,” said Spillman.
The Rotary Club is happy to provide support to local students like that, said Daryn Bundy, president of the Marysville Rotary Education Foundation.
“We will make it possible for you to attend a college, tech school or university, and for a few we will be supporting your aspirations and changing your life,” he said.
“Your community supports you and your schools support you,” he said.
The scholarships are awarded to a variety of students, not just those who are heading to university.
“Some students use the money for vocational education, students who go to four-year colleges, students who go to tech schools and students who go to Everett Community College,” said Spillman.
The Rotary’s scholarships are funded through the foundation and are from the funds they raise throughout the year.
“We take donations from several people who have died and left us in the will, or from the library and various other institutions,” said Spillman.
“There’s a big fundraiser for us in November when we do our auction,” she said.