The Meadville Martin Luther King Jr. Corp. Inc., a corporation under the auspices of the Heritage Foundation, has announced that its 37th annual scholarships will be awarded at a special reception on April 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. in rooms 301 and 301 in the Campus Center at Allegheny College.

High school seniors may get applications for the scholarships from the guidance office at Meadville Area Senior High School.

The corporation was organized to manage and invest contributions toward scholarship for predominately African American students and minority students in the Meadville area. The timeline for the organization reflects the charitable spirit of the citizens of Meadville:

n April 4, 1968 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

n April 7, 1968 — 400 residents of the Meadville community attended a memorial service for Dr. King. At the service, Berniece Bradwell proposed the establishment of a scholarship in honor of Dr. King. The amount raised was $800 to initiate the scholarship, governed by the local NAACP Chapter.

n March 29, 1972 — The Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Trust was established. The incorporators were Arnold W. Cushner, George Dewey, Patricia A. Jenkins, the Rev. Arnold Johnson, Kenneth B. Lucas and Webster McKnight.

n Oct. 30, 1980 — Articles of amendments were filed and signed by Elizabeth Pierce-Stewart, president, and Lucas, treasurer.

n 1986 — A capital fund drive was begun to make the scholarship fund perpetual. Armendia P. Dixon, Elizabeth Burnett and her children led the first drive. Next, an adhoc committee was organized under the leadership of Pierce-Stewart. Dwight Hass, director of United Way of Crawford County, was appointed chair. Other committee members included Dixon, president; Devon Bergholtz; Arthur Crawford; William Knapp; and Richard Rhulman.

Current board members are: Dixon, president; John Wallach, vice president; Leona Overton, secretary; Courtenay Dodge and Anna Mack, scholarship liaisons; Robert Franklin, treasurer; Joseph Galbo, public relations director; Nita Hughes, program chair; and committee members, Sherry McClendon and William Singleton.

The board welcomes two new members this year: Nita Hughes and Sherry McClendon. Nita Hughes is the daughter of Wesley and the late Marie Hughes. She was born and raised in Meadville. Hughes is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. She is branch manager at the Conneautville Office First National Bank. She is working on a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix online. Hughes has two daughters.

Sherry McClendon is a resident of Meadville, returning from Florence, S.C., where she lived for 34 years. She worked for BellSouth (now Avaya) since high school and until retirement three years ago. She is a member of United Faith Fellowship Church of God where she serves on the Pastor Aid Board and in Food Pantry Ministry. She is a member of the NAACP and a volunteer for CHAPS.

Since 1972, the corporation has awarded 95 scholarships totaling $150,000. Recipients of the scholarship are in vocations that include lawyers, teachers, engineers, bankers, musicians , ministers and doctors.

The corporation accepts and appreciates any donation. No donation is too small. Mail all donations to: Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Corp., Heritage Foundation, PO Box 908, Meadville, Pa. 16335.

The public is invited to the free scholarship reception. Make reservations to Armedia P. Dixon on or before April 20.

n Reservations: Contact Dixon at 336-3767 or online at armendia@zoominternet.net.

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