By Steven Penn
---- — LIZTON — For the fourth consecutive year, Tri-West High School students will conduct a Dollars for Scholars Phone-a-Thon in an effort to raise scholarship funds.
The event, set for March 1 and 2, benefits the school's current year graduates. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The event raised $13,000 in 2011, $18,000 in '12, and $22,000 in '13, with two of those last year being renewable scholarships.
Kathy Waite, president of the Tri-West High School Dollars for Scholars Program, said each student works a two-hour shift, but some go above and beyond that.
“Many work several shifts and some work all 10 hours,” Waite said. “We expect around 90 to 100 students to work the event.”
She added that the event is a 501(c)3 non-profit under the umbrella of Scholarship America, a national scholarship organization.
“Our chapter has been thrilled with the success we've experienced,” Waite said. “The secret behind that success lies with our kids and our community. With both students and community so involved in the process, it works amazingly well.”
Waite explained how the phone-a-thon works.
“Basically, the students call everyone in our district, as well as any other supporters we can locate a phone number for,” she said. “The people of our community recognize that post-secondary education is very expensive, and they have responded in a big and generous way over the past three years. Each year, as we try to add contacts to our database, we hope to get in touch with more people which would result in an even greater response than past years.”
Those in the community wishing to become a contributor may e-mail to email@example.com or call the administrative offices at 994-4100 to add their contact information to the list.
The success of the event has even garnered some national praise.
“In 2012, our chapter was awarded the Stuart and Marlys Johnson National New Chapter of the Year by Dollars for Scholars/Scholarship America,” Waite said. “The National New Chapter of the Year Award honors and recognizes chapters (started) within the last five years that have performed outstanding service to their communities and that exemplify the commitment of Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship America to ensuring all students have access to post-secondary education.”
Waite said the event is something the students look forward to each year.
“They truly enjoy it and it provides such a great and needed service to our graduates,” she said. “Whether a student is going to a technical/vocational school or a traditional four-year college, he or she is eligible to apply for these scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and the student’s essay response.”