The aroma of popcorn floats through the main lobby at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial every day. For just $1 a bag, those kernels of popcorn are assisting several Angelina County students pay for college.
The Volunteer Auxiliary at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial gave away $11,000 Thursday night to students pursuing a degree in the medical field. The popcorn bags are a fundraiser that began in 1987 by volunteer Daisy Wadsworth who wanted to create a scholarship fund. Since that time, the Volunteer Auxiliary has given away $364,000 in scholarships. New this year, the hospital’s valet department devoted all of its tip money to the scholarship fund, which in turn provided half of this year’s scholarships. Their contribution to the scholarship fund was truly appreciated.
The 2017 recipients of the $1,000 scholarships are pursuing future careers in areas such as nursing, biomedical engineering, speech pathology and medical billing and coding. They can reapply for the scholarship each year for a total of $4,000.
Market Chief Operating Officer Shawn Barnett spoke to the recipients and their families at a banquet held in their honor on Thursday, July 27 about the importance of the volunteer organization at the hospital and their gift to students in our community. He told the students to “go to school and take advantage of this opportunity they’ve been given.”
“Find your niche within the medical field, and then when you start your new job, contribute to the organization where you are. We certainly hope that’s here at St. Luke’s Health, but if not, we wish you the best in wherever you go,” Barnett said.
This year’s scholarship recipients include Lauren Flournoy, Whitney Flournoy, Kendell Jones, Jante’ Mark, Stephanie McClain, Maci Moore, Lauren Parham, Sarah Phillips, Tristan Sims, Hunter VanSchoubroek and Remya Varghese.