Supporting higher education

MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund

The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund at CHI Memorial Foundation 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. MaryEllen passed away in 2005 after her third bout with cancer. She started the foundation because she was concerned about her own son’s future education and did not want other parents to share that concern while they were in the midst of their own struggles with this disease.

First known as the Children of Breast Cancer Foundation and then the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Foundation, the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund at CHI Memorial Foundation has awarded over 568 scholarships totaling just over $1 million over the past 20 years. The awards are designed to ease the financial and emotional burdens faced by families dealing with breast cancer.

Funds for our work 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 to the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund are tax-deductible.

About MaryEllen

MaryEllen Locher was a truly inspiring and greatly loved community leader, news personality, wife, mother, and friend. A graduate of Penn State University, she began her journalism career in Pennsylvania. In 1985, she began work at WTVC as the area's first health reporter. MaryEllen later became co-anchor of the top-rated station's evening news broadcasts. While working as a health reporter, she was diagnosed with cancer and began a battle that would last nearly 20 years and include three bouts with the disease. MaryEllen passed away in 2005 from breast cancer at the age of 45.


MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund scholarships are given to the children of breast cancer patients--either survivors, those currently in treatment, or deceased. Please note that scholarships are limited to students residing within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga. 

Savannah Blanks

Savannah Blanks, MaryEllen Locher Scholarship recipient

Mel's Club


"Mel's Club'' is a breast health education program for teens and college-aged women. The program equips and educates students in three key areas: myths and misconceptions regarding breast cancer; facts, warning signs and prevention; and tools and training in how to do a breast self-exam.