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WATCH NOW: 24 Tribune Extra Effort students receive a record $80,000 in scholarships

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Twenty-four high school seniors were honored and received college scholarships Wednesday night through the Tribune’s Extra Effort program.

The reception at the Lunda Center at Western Technical College in La Crosse attracted more than 150 people and was the first in-person ceremony for the 26-year program in three years.

Students this year received the largest Extra Effort awards yet, the result of the program partnering with the La Crosse Community Foundation over the summer and donors from throughout the community joining steady long-term donors.

Overall, nearly $80,000 in scholarships were presented.

“The support has been phenomenal, and the Class of ‘22 students are benefitting,” said Bob Heisse, executive editor of the Tribune. “Our sincere thanks to every donor who is boosting the Tribune Extra Effort fund in the foundation.”

Students planning to attend four-year colleges were awarded $3,000 total scholarships, to be split over two years; students planning to attend two-year colleges were awarded $1,500 total scholarships, to be split over two years.

Three students received their scholarships directly from Western Technical College, UW-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rusty Cunningham, former Tribune executive editor who built the Extra Effort program over more than two decades, served as master of ceremonies Wednesday night and told the students: “It’s an honor to celebrate your strength and courage to overcome obstacles and serve others. Your stories have inspired tens of thousands of readers in our area and beyond.”

Cunningham recognized “two groups that don’t enough recognition or thanks” — parents, family members and friends of the students, and educators throughout our region.

Each student received a framed copy of their story in the Tribune along with a scholarship.

Jamie Schloegel, executive director of the La Crosse Community Foundation, thanked new and continuing donors and praised the students.

“The La Crosse Tribune Extra Effort Fund is now one of 60-plus other scholarship funds we administer … but it is still unique in that it is the first at the foundation designed specifically to recognize and support students who have had to overcome significant obstacles in their young lives,” she said.

Schloegel said new donors include an anonymous contributor with a $15,000 gift, a new sustaining donor who has committed up to $10,000 per year and continues inviting others to give, and even a bequest.

“Yes, someone believes so much in the value and importance of this program that they have named it in their estate plans!” she said.

The following students received Extra Effort scholarships:

  • Derek Erdman, Brookwood
  • Sabrina Vang, Holmen
  • Joe Adorjan, Onalaska
  • Genevieve Haugen, Westby
  • Brianna Zenke, Luther
  • Sydney Goth, La CrossRoads
  • Erikka Thomas, Whitehall
  • Catherine Hurlburt, Arcadia (awarded the Viterbo scholarship)
  • Alli Edie, Sparta
  • Melissa Flynn, G.E.T.
  • Cammie Leer, Viroqua
  • Mckenna Obert, De Soto
  • Morgan Dayton, La Crescent-Hokah
  • Leah Mattingley, Logan (awarded the UW-La Crosse scholarship)
  • Kylee Gander, West Salem (awarded the Western Tech scholarship)
  • Dominic Keivel, Bangor
  • Bree Doll, Prairie du Chien
  • Faith Kanieski, Aquinas
  • Daisha Page, Melrose-Mindoro
  • Bryan Rivera, Cashton
  • Hannah Eveland, Blair-Taylor
  • Karina Bronson, Central
  • Betsy Olson, Black River Falls
  • Braden Zingler, Tomah

24 students received scholarships through the Tribune Extra Effort program in its 26th year. Meet the students in this presentation that was shown at the reception at Western Technical College.

Presenting scholarships on Wednesday night were Schloegel representing the foundation, Brent Smith of Johns, Flaherty & Collins; Kent Handel and Regina Siegel of Trust Point; Dr. Ann Brice of AAUW of La Crosse; Mary Jo Werner; Cunningham; Quinn Devlin of Marine Credit Union, and Heisse.

Chancellor Joe Gow presented the UW-La Crosse scholarship, President Roger Sanford presented the Western Tech scholarship and President Rick Trietley presented the Viterbo scholarship.

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

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