Last week, representatives from the Sunbury-Galena Rotary Club surprised seniors at in the Delaware Area Career Center Welding Lab with donations and scholarships to help them after they graduate Friday.
Blaize Foster, a senior from Big Walnut High School; Garison Frisch, a senior at Big Walnut High School; and Kenneth Knight, a senior at Delaware Hayes High School were three of 12 students who were presented with gifts totaling over $10,000 from the Sunbury-Galena Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Delaware. Rotarians also personally contributed to these scholarships in addition to local businesses such as Deck Masters and Ruark Automotive.
Foster and Frisch were presented with a multimatic welder to help them get their welding business off the ground.
“This has saved us a lot of time and money,” Foster said. “It’s wild – this has helped us more than we can say.”
The welder was purchased from Delille Oxygen Company, who also included welding jackets and both TIG and MIG welding gloves for the students. In addition, a member of the rotary club is setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) free of charge to help the students get their business started.
Knight, who will be attending Penn College of Technology next year, received a $500 scholarship. Knight explained the scholarship will help him purchase equipment.
“I’m going to need a lot of tools at Penn next year, and I have to buy everything myself,” Knight said.
Al Blyth, president-elect of the Sunbury-Galena Rotary Club, presented the gifts. He said the partnership with the DACC has been going on for over six years.
“This is the largest donation we have been able to give,” he said. “Including the Rotary Club of Delaware has increased the funds we were able to raise, and we’re happy to be able to provide even more to these students.”
Twenty-one students applied for the program and qualifications were based on need and plans for how the donations would be used. Blyth said that while local rotary clubs don’t have large pools of funds, they feel they can make an impact by meeting students’ specific career and technical needs.
“Part of our mission is to create positive change and improve lives,” Blyth said. “It is certainly a worthy endeavor to see how these donations and scholarships are helping so many students.”
Seniors will take part in the DACC Completion Ceremony Friday at Hayes High School’s Cornell Stadium.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.