Brundidge Rotarians plan for ‘Scholarship Season’

Published 2:55 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

As program chair for the Brundidge Rotary Club’s Wednesday meeting, Ben Busbee took the opportunity to present an overview of the club’s scholarship program and to discuss any updates, changes and clarifications from the 2014 program.

Busbee, who is a member of the club’s scholarship committee, said the scholarship program was developed as a way to recognize outstanding graduating seniors at the local high schools.

“The first Rotary Scholarships were initiated in 1994 and 1995, with two $1,000 scholarships in memory of J. Ralph Dickert, a longtime Rotarian,” Busbee said. “In 1997, another $500 scholarship was added in memory of Harold Rodgers and funded by the Donald Johnston family.”

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In 2002, the R.L Godwin Scholarship was initiated and funded by the Johnston family.

In 2003, a $500 scholarship was awarded to a student at the Troy-Pike Vocational Center. However, that scholarship was presented only one year.

“The Wilburn Howard Rotary Scholarship was founded in 2009. Then, in 2011, one of the Ralph Dickert scholarships was renamed the Reynolds E. Wallace Rotary Scholarship,” Busbee said. “Another memorial scholarship the club awards is the Sara Spano scholarship which is funded by Rotarian Larry Shiver.”

Spano, a retired teacher and past president of the Georgia PTA, was working at a newspaper where Shiver was working to earn money for college.

“My dad had a stroke and was unable to work,” he said. “Sara Spano made it possible for me to pay my tuition. I wanted to do something to remember her.”

Over the 21 years of its scholarship program, the Brundidge Rotarians have awarded 84 scholarships in the total amount of $81,000.

“The funds for the Rotary Scholarship, which the club funds, are raised through the Boston butt sales, the Auburn/Alabama ticket raffle, a silent auction, the Douglas Botts Memorial Golf Tournament and several small fundraisers,” Busbee said.

The club members discussed the club’s 2015 scholarship program and agreed that application for the scholarships will be made through the school counselor’s offices with three applications being accepted from each of five high schools: Pike County, Goshen, Pike Liberal Arts, Ariton and Zion Chapel. Children or grandchildren of club members will not be eligible to apply.

The student applications will be judged on community benefit, community service, leadership potential, academic record, extra curricular activities and a personal interview.

The student nominees will be invited to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club, as which time the personal interviews will be conducted.

The awards will be announced at senior day programs. Checks will be sent to the colleges the recipients plan to attend.