POINT PLEASANT — The Peoples Bank Fair Scholarship, a long-standing tradition in Mason County, just turned 50.
Known as “the fair scholarship” over the years, 130 students have benefited from it and over $115,000 has been raised for those local students to attend college.
Peoples Bank honored the tradition of the scholarship, past winners and presented this year’s winners at a special reception held Thursday night at the Main St. branch.
Sharon Stapleton of Peoples Bank spoke at the reception, welcoming guests and speaking about what the scholarship means to the bank and the community. Stapleton then introduced Rodney Wallbrown, WVU Extension Agent and judge on the fair scholarship committee.
Wallbrown spoke about how the scholarship was funded in the past and how it’s funded now with sponsors, which this year include Southern States Cooperative, Mt. Alto Food Mart, City Ice and Fuel, Crank and Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital and Peoples Bank. He said he became introduced to the fair scholarship when he was a vo-ag teacher with Mason County Schools and saw firsthand how it benefited local students who were “deserving and hard working people.”
As a judge he spoke about how applicants are scored, the points system and how each judge scores the contestants separately and then ranks them. He said over the years the applicants reaffirmed for him how impressive local youth were and would change anybody’s mind who thought ill of the younger generation who were going to be creating the future.
Wallbrown said judges meet with kids each year and hear about their dreams and tell them “you can do it.”
Applicants for this year’s scholarships were BreAnna Ball, Richelle Boswell, Brad Chattin, Ashten Crank, Derrick Jackson, Samantha Machir, Brandon K. Sayre, Adam Wilson, Mary Grace Workman.
Normally the scholarships are presented at the fair but since this year was the 50th anniversary, Peoples Bank made an exception and awarded them early and at the special reception.
This year’s winners include: Alternate, Mary Grace Workman. Third place and winner of $500, Brandon K. Sayre. Second place and winner of $1,000, Derrick Jackson. First place and winner of $1,500, Adam Wilson. Wilson was presented his award by James Dunn, winner of the first fair scholarship back in 1965.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.