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Tribune Extra Effort program expands in its 26th year

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Extra Effort new logo

The La Crosse Tribune’s Extra Effort program — in its 26th year recognizing and providing scholarships for high school seniors who have overcome obstacles or provided exemplary service to the community — is expanding.

This expansion is in the form of a partnership with the La Crosse Community Foundation that essentially brings the program more into the community.

Each year, colleges, businesses and individual donors have provided scholarship money for students nominated by their schools who plan to continue their education.

And each year, people in the community ask to donate, but in the past there were enough donations for at least $1,000 scholarships, and donations were not tax deductible.

That is now changing, with the partnership with the La Crosse Community Foundation. Donations will be tax deductible and easy to make directly to the Tribune Extra Effort fund in the Foundation, and there will be every attempt to increase the level of scholarships provided annually.

“We’re proud of our ongoing determination to recognize local high school students who inspire and motivate all who know their stories of strength and perseverance,” said Paul Pehler, president of River Valley Media Group and director of local sales and marketing. “Partnering with the La Crosse Community Foundation allows for the community and donors to take the Extra Effort program to the next level, both in longevity and resources.”

“This is a win-win for the students, donors and the community at large,” said Bob Heisse, executive editor of the River Valley Media Group. “Extra Effort has been a unique and amazing Tribune program. It’s time to invite the community to help it stay strong and grow.”

Jamie Schloegel, executive director of the La Crosse Community Foundation, said the foundation has long been a sponsor of the Extra Effort program, “so establishing a more formal partnership was a no-brainer. The fund will join 60-plus other scholarship funds administered at the foundation but is the first scholarship fund designed specifically to recognize and support students who have had to overcome significant obstacles in their young lives.”

Already new donors have come forward to seed the fund, but others are invited to give in hopes award amounts can be increased and also renewed.

“For a quarter of a century, the La Crosse Tribune Extra Effort Awards have introduced our readers to exceptional, inspirational high school seniors,” said Rusty Cunningham, former editor and publisher. “Our terrific partnership with Jamie Schloegel and the La Crosse Community Foundation will allow more community members to help us provide more scholarship money to help these courageous young people to receive a college education.”

To give online visit at www.laxcommfoundation.com. Checks can be written to Extra Effort Fund and mailed to the Foundation at 401 Main Street, Ste. 205, La Crosse, WI 54601

The Tribune soon will begin publishing profiles of the 2021-22 Extra Effort winners. Schools have until mid-January to submit nominations. As of this writing we have received student nominations from Arcadia, Onalaska, Whitehall and Caledonia schools. School contacts will receive a reminder this week along with a link to this announcement online.

After two years of virtual ceremonies, there are plans to have an in-person Extra Effort scholarship presentation on May 4 at the Lunda Center Western Technical College.

“We’re looking forward to a special evening recognizing and awarding the exceptional Extra Effort students,” Heisse said. “You’ll know, when you start reading about them in the Tribune, how deserving they are.”

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