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Kiwanis Club Gives $8,000 in Scholarships to Community

Courtesy of the Vidalia Kiwanis Club

This year, the Vidalia Kiwanis Club is proud to have awarded ten scholarships, amounting to $8,000, to graduates from our local schools. Each year, students from Montgomery County High School, Robert Toombs Christian Academy, Toombs County High School, Vidalia Heritage Academy, and Vidalia High School are eligible to apply. (Home school graduates are also eligible to apply to the William A.

“Jinky” Hooker Scholarship.) The scholarships are named in honor of the memory of some of our community leaders, and the 2023 recipients are listed below.

• e Stephen A Brown Scholarship ($1,000) was awarded to Vidalia High School graduate Chasen Moye. This scholarship was established by a dear friend of Steve’s in order to honor the 1999 Vidalia Citizen of the Year and a past President of the Vidalia Kiwanis Club, Stephen A. Brown. “Steve” was best known for his unique laugh and his words of encouragement.

• e William A (Jinky) Hooker Scholarship ($1,000) recipient this year is John Stephen Smith, who graduated from Vidalia Heritage Academy.

The family of William A.

(“Jinky”) Hooker, III, a sixth-grade student at JR Trippe Middle School at the time of his accidental death in 1987, began this scholarship in his memory.

This scholarship is awarded to a student attending Brewton-Parker College.

• e 2023 Tom P. Hutcheson Scholarship ($1,000) was awarded to Toombs County High School graduate Allison Waller. The Vidalia Kiwanis Club, in order to provide a means for the community to honor one of its distinguished citizens and a Kiwanian, established this scholarship to the name of Tom P. Hutcheson. It is presented in his memory and to honor his term as Superintendent of the Vidalia City Schools for 19 years.

• e Kiwanis Club Family Scholarship ($500) was set up in order to recognize the contributions of local members and is made available to the child(ren) or grandchild(ren) of active or long-time members in good standing of local club. This year’s recipient is Anna Claire Stephens, a graduate of Vidalia High School and the granddaughter of Kiwanian Dean Mills.

• e R.E. Ledford Scholarship ($1,000) was established by The Vidalia Kiwanis Club in order to honor one of its distinguished former presidents, Roscoe E. Ledford, publisher of the Vidalia Advance for 50 years. This year’s scholarship was awarded to Vidalia Heritage Academy graduate Julia Beacham.

• e Cli A. Poe Scholarship ($500) is awarded each year to two students, one graduate from Vidalia High School and one graduate from one of the other area schools.

This year’s recipients are Elise Annabelle Ogle (Vidalia High School) and Christian Grace Tankersley (Toombs County High School). This scholarship was originally named the Kiwanis Club Scholarship, but was renamed to the Cliff A. Poe Scholarship to recognize and honor, during his lifetime, its only living charter member. Recipients of this scholarship attend Southeastern Technical College.

• e Dr. Larry Smith Scholarship ($1000) was awarded to Rebecca Evans, a graduate of Vidalia High School to honor one of its distinguished citizens and a Kiwanian who died an untimely death. Recipients of this scholarship plan to attend Dr. Smith’s alma mater, The University of Georgia.

• e J.R. Trippe Scholarship ($1000) was awarded to Zachary Moye, a graduate of Vidalia High School. This scholarship was established in 1981 by a community-wide committee to honor the memory of a former Superintendent of the Vidalia City School System by creating a scholarship. The Vidalia Kiwanis Club was asked to be the administrator of the fund which has provided a scholarship every year since 1982 in honor of Kiwanian J.R. Trippe.

• e Dorothy L. Warthen Scholarship ($500) was awarded to Vidalia High School graduate Hudson Sumner. In January of 2008, the family of Dorothy Warthen began this scholarship in her honor. Mrs. Warthen faithfully served the community as a teacher in the Vidalia City School System for twentytwo years, and the Vidalia Kiwanis Club was asked to administer the scholarship.

The Vidalia Kiwanis Club is proud of these students and of the people for whom the scholarships were established. Our best wishes go out to the Class of 2023.

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