Foundation Awards $331,500 in Scholarships

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The Red & Gena Leonard Foundation has awarded scholarships to 173 Eastern Oregon students totaling $331,500 for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Red & Gena Leonard Foundation awards scholarships to students who have graduated or obtained a GED from Arlington, Boardman, Condon, Echo, Fossil, Heppner, Hermiston, Ione, Irrigon, Monument, Pendleton, Pilot Rock, Spray, Stanfield, Ukiah or Umatilla High Schools.

In order to receive a scholarship, students must attend an accredited college, university, community college, vocational, trade or technical program based in Oregon.

Foundation Executive Director Tracy Gammell said the mission of the foundation is to provide financial assistance to average students of good character with poor financial circumstances who have a desire to seek further educational opportunities.

The Red & Gena Leonard Foundation was established in 1997 by the late Red (Mervin) and Gena Leonard.

“Red and Gena had a desire to help those that wanted to earn a living in a trade, so we give special consideration to all students planning to enter a trade school or program,” Gammell said.

Gammell said the funds in the foundation represent a lifetime of hard work and frugal living and it was the desire of the Leonard’s to further the educational opportunities of Eastern Oregon students and promote healthy economies in our communities. The foundation awarded its first scholarships during the 2000-01 year and is now celebrating 15 years of giving back to the community. Over the years, the foundation has awarded a total of 1,627 scholarships to local students totaling $3,147,600.

The foundation has awarded scholarships to 93 first-time recipient students for the 2014-15 academic year. Each recipient will receive $1,500. The foundation also renews scholarships; this year there are 80 students that have been selected to renew their Red & Gena Leonard Foundation scholarship. Each renewing scholarship recipient will receive $2,400 for the 2014-15 academic year.

In addition to the $331,500 in scholarships, the foundation also awarded $15,000 in grants to further local educational opportunities. The Blue Mountain Community College Nursing program will receive $10,000; New Directions Education Project will receive $1,000; and the TRIO program at BMCC will receive $4,000.

For more information, e-mail Gammell at rglfoundation@qwestoffice.net.