The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund at CHI Memorial Foundation has awarded 29 college scholarships totaling $86,000 to Chattanooga area students for the 2023-24 academic year.
The fund is a college scholarship program for children who have either lost a parent to breast cancer, have a parent who is a breast cancer survivor, or have a parent who is currently in treatment. The organization was founded as an independent nonprofit in 2002 by MaryEllen Locher, a long-time news anchor and health reporter for WTVC in Chattanooga. Formerly known as the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation, it joined with CHI Memorial Foundation in January 2021.
MaryEllen started the foundation during her own battle with breast cancer because she was concerned about her son’s future education. She did not want other parents to share that concern while they were struggling with this disease. MaryEllen passed away in 2005 after her third bout with cancer.
Over the past 21 years, the fund has awarded nearly 600 scholarships totaling more than $1 million. The awards are designed to ease the emotional and financial burdens faced by families dealing with breast cancer.
“We are proud to support these worthy students,’’ said Jennifer Nicely, CHI Memorial Foundation president. “Our winners have gone through hardships at early ages as they endured breast cancer battles with their families. We are excited to invest in their futures.’’
Winners for the 2023-24 academic year represent 21 area high schools in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Recipients are:
- Abigail Allen, Walker Valley High School senior
- Lily Andrews, Signal Mountain High School graduate, attending UTK
- Marion Andrews, Signal Mountain High School graduate, attending UTK
- Connor Beach, Ooltewah High School graduate, attending the University of Mississippi
- Lara Bennett, Silverdale Baptist Academy senior, Evelyn's Scholarship
- Louise Brock, Girls Preparatory School senior
- Saylor Brown, Notre Dame High School graduate, attending the UTK
- Sarah Capps, Heritage High School graduate, attending University of West Georgia
- Sharayah Daves, homeschool graduate, attending Belmont University, Angels Among Us Scholarship
- Kamille Deloach, Boyd-Buchanan senior
- Daniel Douglas, Cleveland High School graduate, attending Lee University, Volley for a Cure Scholarship
- Kevyn Edinger, Bledsoe County High School senior, Wanda Weller Scholarship
- Charles Riley Flynn, III, McCallie senior, Rock City Scholarship
- Bailey Fowler, Ridgeland High School graduate, attending University of West Georgia, Shields Family Scholarship
- Olivia Hamilton, Chattanooga Christian School graduate, attending the University of Georgia, Angels Among Us Scholarship
- Brileigh Hicks, Bradley Central High School graduate, attending UTK
- Ava Layne, Whitwell High School senior
- Iris Luce, Collegiate High School graduate, attending Lee University
- Elaine MacDougall, Notre Dame High school senior
- Grace McDonald, McMinn County High School graduate, attending Maryville College
- Reece Meagher, Cleveland High School senior
- Matthew Merritt, McCallie School graduate, attending Yale University
- Jacob Moore, Notre Dame High School senior
- Sarah Reed, Ringgold High School graduate, attending University of Kentucky
- Cali Sandhoff, Boyd Buchanan senior
- Gilbert Strode, STEM School senior
- Emily Thomson, Soddy-Daisy High graduate, attending ETSU
- Anna Thomson, Soddy-Daisy High graduate, attending UTC, Guardian Angel Scholarship
- William Woodall, Ridgeland High School senior, Tom and Kaky Bible Scholarship
Funds for scholarships are raised through special events, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and private grants. The CHI Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all contributions made to the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible.
Donations to the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center can be made online or checks can be mailed to CHI Memorial Foundation, 2525 de Sales Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404. Please make a notation to direct to the MEL Scholarship Fund on the memo line of check.