Bigfork community supports their youth through scholarships

We’ve already passed the mid-May mark, and students are getting excited and anxious at the same time. Many children are enjoying the warmer weather and counting the days until summer vacation. Other students are finishing finals and looking for jobs, or maybe having some apprehension about going away to college. One thing is certain; the students at Bigfork School have many reasons to be proud.

While some students decide to work right after graduating from high school, others plan to attend college or a vocational or technical program. “Getting ready for college can be exciting and scary at the same time,” notes Chris Fulton, Executive Director at the Community Foundation. He continues. “The scariest part for the student and family can be the financial burden and likelihood of student debt. Scholarships are one way the Community Foundation has a positive impact on families. There are many scholarships available to students throughout the Greater Itasca Area, but some scholarships are specifically established to benefit the graduates of the Bigfork School.”

Bigfork Lions Scholarship

“The Bigfork Lions Club has been supporting the Edge of the Wilderness community for as long as I can remember,” remarks Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. Copeland continues, “The Bigfork Area is a great community. We have had some outstanding Board Members over the years from Bigfork. From Ed Sorrentino serving as our Chair to Rex Sala and his magic spreadsheets, it is obvious that the entire Edge of the Wilderness area really exhibits a true since of community.”

The Bigfork Lions work and support all types of community activities. One of their major projects is supporting youth and education. Over the years, the Bigfork Lions Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation has grown, and now supports two, two-year scholarships, for $2,000 each year.

Sulo Herrala Scholarship

The Sulo Herrala Scholarship was established in 1989. Solely funded by Bigfork Alumni donations, this scholarship honors an esteemed educator and long-time principal of Bigfork School. A student interested in applying for this scholarship must be an academic achiever with a “B” grade point average (3.0) or higher who is planning to attend a post-secondary institution as a full time student at a four-year college or vocational school.

GJ Holt Family Scholarship

The Holt Family Scholarship was established in 1998 in memory of George Jonas Holt. Mr. Holt was a pioneering entrepreneur in the Bigfork area. In 1929, George started the Bigfork Valley Electric Service, which brought electricity to town residents. He later owned the People’s Telephone Company, Valley Gas and Appliance and published the Itasca Progressive, a weekly newspaper. Mr. Holt worked hard and understood the importance of a good education. The GJ Holt Family Scholarship provides $1,000 a year for 4 years.

Latterell Family Memorial Scholarship

Mike, Michelle, Linda and Laura Latterell established this scholarship in memory of their parents, Larry and Liz Latterell. Larry Latterell was the owner and president of the First State Bank of Bigfork until his death in 2001. Liz Latterell was a former teacher and community volunteer. She also served the Bigfork community as mayor from 1988 until she died in 1993. The Latterell Family has always been interested in serving the Bigfork community, and certainly leaves a wonderful legacy to generations of Bigfork High School students.

Anyone can support the commitment to continuing education for Bigfork students by donating to one or more of these scholarships. Remember to check your Herald Review during June for a special Academic Excellence insert section to see photos of the recipients.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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