RACINE — Twenty years after the organization began awarding scholarships to Southern High School seniors, the Racine Area Community Organization has now awarded more than $77,000 in scholarships.
The first scholarships given were in 1993. That year two scholarships of $200 each were presented. Since beginning the scholarships, a total of $77,900 in RACO scholarships.
In addition to the scholarships specifically from RACO, several other scholarships are presented by the organization. The total for all scholarships awarded through RACO is now at $151,800.
On Tuesday, Racine Area Community Organization held their annual scholarship dinner at Racine Baptist Church Christian Outreach Center to award this year’s scholarships to the recent graduates of Southern High School.
Kathryn Hart presented the RACO scholarships. She spoke of scholarship committee receiving the applications with only a number on them, names and addresses are removed and each application is judged on what they complete on the application.
Receiving $700 RACO scholarship checks were Cole Graham, son of Dave and Jane Graham; Jennifer McCoy, daughter of Barry and Deborah McCoy; Kody Wolfe, son of Joe and BettyAnn Wolfe; Paige Wehrung, daughter of Seth and Carletta Wehrung; and Chris Chaney, son of Christy Essick and John Chaney. Not attending the dinner but receiving the scholarship were Joe Smith, Jaclyn Mees, Kyrie Swann, and Adam Pape. Hart stated Mees and Swann were playing in Southern’s softball tournament game in Minford and the team won. RACO congratulated team on the win.
Jennifer McCoy received the Jim Adams Memorial Scholarship. Presenting the Jim Adams Memorial Scholarship check of $500, was Carol Adams. Adams spoke of the seeds that Jim had planted during his lifetime, not only in the ground, but also of knowledge. She presented a picture of Jim with the always ever faithful smile on his face. He was on the 1959 basketball team, nicknamed “couldn’t be beaten five.” He was principal at Racine High School for 23 years, and because of medical reasons, had to retire. He taught to the very end. He even taught in the hospital to OSU Chaplain students while he was a patient there. He was inducted in February of this year into Southern Local School District’s Hall of Fame. They had two children, both graduates of Southern High School.
Hart stated the scholarship was started in 2004, and Carol Adams has presented $7,100 in awards.
Hart presented the Edison Brace Memorial scholarship checks of $600 each to Kody Wolfe and Jennifer McCoy. This was started in 2004 and it now totals $16,700 in awards. The two winners were chosen by his niece and nephew and were students he would have been proud of according to Hart. They were chosen on their giving back to the community, attendance, GPA, and school participation. She spoke of the number of people that her father had helped in his lifetime, and he always wanted kids to get an education as he did not have the opportunity to have one. Whatever she participated in during his lifetime, he was always a supporter of her.
Marvin Hill presented the Cruisin’ Saturday Night Car Show scholarship checks of $1000 each to Jennifer McCoy and Kody Wolfe. This scholarship is is provided by people of Meigs, Mason and Jackson counties from the car show and sponsored by Home National Bank, Roses’ Excavating, Haggerty Insurance, and Hill’s Classic Cars. Recipients were chosen on attendance, school, work, GPA, and participation in the community. The car show scholarships were started in 2006 and now total $27,600 awarded to the seniors. Dates of 2014 car show is September 14. It is held Saturday of Racine’s Party in the Park. Not attending, but receiving the scholarship were Joe Smith and Kyrie Swann.
Ron Hill was the presenter of the Leo and Helen Hill scholarship of $600. He lives in Eastern School district and teaches at Meigs. He stated RACO and Hart make the difference in schools by these scholarships, which is something not offered at many other schools. He also stated he was a student under Jim Adams and was Southern’s MVP in 1973. His sons worked for Adams on the farm, one being the principal now, Daniel Otto. Adams taught them a good work ethic.
Leo Hill graduated from Racine High School in 1945, and Helen graduated in 1947. Leo was in World War II and then worked at the Philip Sporn Plant. He became disabled, and instead of drawing disability, he told the company to pay for his schooling and he graduated in three years and taught at Rio Grande for fifteen years as a professor of the arts. They had five children, all graduates of Southern High School. Ron stated that his dad always said take a hand up, and not a hand out. The recipient of the scholarship was judged on attendance — you can‘t learn if your are not here — being active in community, religion, and ACT score.This scholarship was started in 2011, and $1,700 in awards have been given.
Jaclyn Mees received the scholarship but was unable to attend.
Hart presented the David B Sayre scholarship of $500 to Cole Graham. Sayre was a supporter of the RACO yard sale which is used for scholarship funds. He would purchase items, if he thought it was a deal, and give it to the girls, as he called Hart and Ann Zirkle. First year of this scholarship was 2006, and the total for this scholarship is $2,600.
Jan Hill presented the Jean Alkire Memorial scholarship of $300 to Olivia Poling, daughter of Angela and Brian Burkhammer. Ms. Jean was a silent member of RACO for many years, and always supported and donated to whatever the organization was doing. Hill said God blessed her with a wonderful mother. Hill added remember whatever you do today, will affect your tomorrow and all of your tomorrows. This is the second year for this scholarship and a total of $2,300.00, given to seniors.
Hart presented the Clarence and Ruth Bradford Scholarship of $500 to Kody Wolfe. This is the year 6th for this scholarship, with Brenda and Kel Weller of Dacula, Georgia, presenting $3,000 in scholarships. Clarence retired from American Electric Power with 32 years of service. He loved his community and people of Racine. Whatever Hart was involved in, he supported each and every group. Ruth was a homemaker and active in her community. Her heart was with her family and her devotion to them was boundless. Hart presented Wolfe with a history of their lives that was prepared by Brenda Weller.
RACO had three new educational scholarships to present this year, the Vinas Lee Education Scholarship, Anderson and Eleanor Owens Scholarship, and The Racine Enginuity Scholarship.
Hart presented the Anderson and Eleanor Owens Scholarship of $500 to Jennifer McCoy. Anderson and Eleanor were both school teachers, and later Anderson became a school superintendent and Eleanor became a school librarian. Last year, the couple’s son donated money to Hart’s father’s scholarship fund, and stated her father would be proud that she has presented this scholarship in his memory to the parents of a great doctor.
Presenting the Vinas Lee Education Scholarships of $500 each was John Bentz. Receiving the checks were Jennifer McCoy and Paige Wehrung.
Bentz stated Lee was a longtime supporter of Racine and surrounding communities. She was born on Dec. 24, 1914, graduated from Ohio University in 1936, returned to Racine High School to teach in 1956, and retired in 1976. She taught typing, shorthand, English and bookkeeping. She had a leadership role in the headstart program and is still very young at heart, a supporter of RACO, always thinking of others, and still sends her Christmas cards. She currently resides in Mayfair Retirement Village in Columbus, near to her family. She was well known in her community for her well-groomed lawn and leaf collection. He was honored to present this scholarship this year.
Jacob Hunter sponsored the Racine Enginuity Scholarship. He was unable to attend because of work. Hart stated he was a former recipient of RACO and Brace Memorial Scholarships. Hunter stated, now this afforded him the opportunity to give back to the organization that had helped him, by helping another student. This becomes a positive for all concerned, to be able to do this and it becomes a joy. Hart presented the check of $500 to Kody Wolfe.
Maxine Rose presented a check of $500 to Jennifer McCoy on behalf of Racine’s Party in the Park. Jennifer received the scholarship as being the 2012 queen. She stated that the Party in the Park queen committee chose a wonderful young lady as their queen. Rose stated, be nice to everyone you meet, as you may run into them again. Everyone needs someone and don’t forget who you are.
Jesse McKendree, Racine Baptist Church Youth Pastor, said grace before a dinner catered by Barb Arnold.
Recognized at the meeting were members Libby Fisher, Melanie Weese, Lillian Weese, Sherry Kincaid, David & Ann Zirkle, Tonja Hunter, Kim Romine, Sherri O’Brien, Lucas Hunter, Eli Hunter, and Dale Hart, and yard sale volunteers Victor and Alice Wolfe and Erma Norris. Hart also recognized Jennifer Holt representing Southern High School and Racine Mayor Scott Hill.
Hart spoke of the new shelter house at the park, the village received a grant for one-half of it and RACO paid the other half, with proceeds from working the fair gates and baskets games.
Also attending the dinner, were Chase Graham, Justin Hettinger, Cierra Marcinko, and Kim and Elise McKendree.