The foundation is a national college scholarship program for children who have either lost a parent to breast cancer or have a parent who is a survivor of the disease.
The awards are designed to ease the financial and emotional burdens faced by families dealing with the disease. Over the past 11 years, the foundation has awarded more than 300 scholarships totaling $547,000.
The organization was founded in 2002 by MaryEllen Locher, a well-known WTVC Channel 9 news anchor and health reporter. She started the foundation because she was concerned about the future of her son. Ms. Locher died in 2005 after her third bout with cancer.
The foundation works closely with Cleveland schools in sponsoring events. Lee University’s volleyball team presents “Volley for a Cure’’ in November, while Walker Valley High School hosts the “Pink Ribbon Bowl’’ powder-puff football tournament in October.
Winners with Cleveland connections include:
- Emily Bishop, Bradley Central High School graduate. Emily is a sophomore at Lee University majoring in premed. She received a Volley for a Cure Scholarship.
- Abby Bryant, McMinn County High School graduate. Abby is a freshman at East Tennessee State University majoring in dental hygiene. She received a MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship.
- Courtney Combs, Meigs County High School graduate. Courtney is a senior at Bryan College majoring in elementary education. She received the Pink Ribbon Bowl Scholarship.
- Briar Lowe, Cleveland Christian School graduate. Briar will be enrolling in an industrial electricity program at Tennessee Technology Center. He received a Volley for a Cure Scholarship.
- Libby Peigen, Ooltewah High School graduate. Libby is a senior at Lee University. She received a Volley for a Cure Scholarship.
- Alanna Rice, Cleveland High School graduate. Alanna is a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga majoring in prelaw. She received a MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, the MaryEllen Locher Foundation will award scholarships only to students living within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga.
Applications for the 2014-15 school year will be accepted beginning Oct. 1 and are due by Jan. 13, 2014.
Funds for the foundation are raised through special events, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and private grants. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax deductible.