BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — For 30 years, Jon McAfee shared his love of history with Anthony Wayne junior high and high school students. Now, as the newly elected president of the Anthony Wayne Alumni Association (AWAA), McAfee is reaching out to alumni and local leaders to support students in their quest to earn a two- or four-year degree. “We usually award three or four scholarships each year to graduating students, raising money through 50/50 raffles at football games, lanyard sales, Chick-Fil-A sales and donations,” McAfee said. “But we’re hoping to raise enough money for two or three additional scholarships.” During recent meetings with local police and fire chiefs, the AWAA received $1,000 to fund a new Public Safety Scholarship, which will be given to an Anthony Wayne High School student, including those attending Penta Career Center, who wants to pursue an education leading to a career in firefighting, emergency medical services or law enforcement. Those making the scholarship possible include Monclova Township trustees, Fire Chief Kevin Bernhard and Monclova Firefighter Association president Kyle Miller; Waterville Township Police Chief Richard Bingham and the Waterville Township trustees; and Whitehouse Mayor Don Atkinson, Police Chief Mark McDonough, Fire Chief Josh Hartbarger and Whitehouse Village Council. “These people were all instrumental in helping us,” McAfee said. Since its formation in 1997 by Dick Albaugh, a teacher, coach and athletic director for 38 years with the schools, the AWAA has awarded $33,500 in scholarships and $6,800 for other school projects. The AWAA also awards the $1,000 Les Disher Memorial Scholar-ship to an FFA student through the financial support of his widow, Doris Disher. “I would like to see seniors who are going into a trade or a two-year nursing program, food service or public safety have just as much of a chance as those who are going into business, engineering, computer science or med school,” McAfee said. “These scholarships will be open to all students and not just those who intend on going to a traditional four-year college,” he said. The AWAA has about 1,000 members, and the board of trustees works to reach out through Facebook and its newsletter to seek information about graduates and to solicit donations to support the annual scholarships, McAfee said. In addition to scholarships, the AWAA goals include better communication with graduates and sponsorship of the Anthony Wayne Hall of Fame. “Our mission is to promote, cultivate and honor shared connections made among Anthony Wayne alumni,” said board member Jim Fisher. “The association also has a greater role of promoting the connection of the whole AW community family, both past and present.” The Hall of Fame was created to honor alumni athletes and non-athletes, as well as those who have impacted the school district. Hall of Fame winners are chosen based on their impact in their communities or professions. This includes alumni, faculty/staff and community members. In addition to McAfee and Fisher, the AWAA board of trustees includes Charlene Hansen, Kit Heintschel, Debby Jacoby, Kim Meredieth, Stephanie Phillips, Dr. Holly Schmidbauer, Steve Wayne and Karen Wiggins. To donate to the AWAA, send a check to P.O. Box 2441, Whitehouse, OH 43571. The deadline to apply for the Public Safety Scholarship is Monday, March 26. Students who have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and plan to study public safety at a two- or four-year college should complete a 600-word essay. Interested students need to contact their school counselor to obtain an application.
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