Twenty-six years ago, the Jordan-Elbridge community began an effort to raise funds to provide its high school graduates with scholarship aid. The Jordan-Elbridge Scholarship Foundation, better known as Dollars for Scholars, raised $5,000 and awarded a total of 14 scholarships in 1986.
Each year this amount has grown. Dollars for Scholars has distributed more than half a million dollars to JE graduates since its inception and will soon reach the $700,000 mark.
More than $48,000 was awarded to 71 seniors graduating from JE at a ceremony Sunday May 15. Scholarships will financially assist students in pursuing higher levels of academic achievement.
"Once again the annual Dollars for Scholars phone-a-thon exceeded the previous year's donations by over $500 - a testament to the dedication of higher education by the Jordan-Elbridge community," said retiring Dollars for Scholars President Hank Doerr.
There were several new scholarships added to the program this year. One, "The Banana Scholarship," was founded by JE's retired Superintendent of Schools Marilyn Dominick and her husband David
Whenever students or teams would move onto to a higher level of competition, Marilyn would show up at the bus departure and provide bananas for the team with the message, "Good Luck... from the Top Banana!" Over the course of eleven years, students and families grew to expect and appreciate the gesture, whether the event was athletic, academic, or in the area of fine arts.
The criteria for the annual scholarship mirrors the experiences of both Marilyn and David. The award is intended for a student who will pursue post-secondary preparation for a career in education or law enforcement. Preference is given to a student who is the first in his/her family to ever attend college. Marilyn and David will personally present the scholarship each year, complete with a banana.
JE senior Brandon Vaughn was the award's first recipient.