The King City Lions Club annually hands out $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors from a scholarship fund bequeathed by Lion Henry J. Marchion.
On May 31, Lions Bill Gerkin and Lawrence Torrey handed out scholarships to Tigard High School seniors, and on June 6, they handed out scholarships to Tualatin High School seniors at the schools' respective awards ceremonies for a total of $17,000.
"We get about 20 applications every year," Gerkin said. "And on average, we provide $20,000 worth of $1,000 scholarships every year."
The Lions' scholarship committee, which is chaired by Gerkin, reviews the applications and chooses the students who will receive awards.
In addition, the Lions give three more scholarships at each of the two schools to students selected by the school counselors.
The Lions also choose an alternate at each school in case one of the recipients doesn't go to college after all.
"Our scholarship fund is invested with the Oregon Community Foundation, and the interest we have to spend each year is based on the stock market two years previous," Gerkin said.
Gerkin said the Lions club has traditionally limited its scholarships to the Tigard-Tualatin School District, but according to the terms of the Henry J. Marchion bequest, students throughout Washington County are eligible to apply although there is a preference for local students.
"More and more, we are seeing applications from students who don't plan to go to four-year colleges but to a trade school instead,' Gerkin said. 'The Lions board approved expanding the program to include community colleges and trade schools."
Students who receive scholarships can reapply each year they plan to remain in a college in the U.S.
"This fund will last into perpetuity because we never touch the principle," Gerkin said.