The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund at CHI Memorial Foundation is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year, focusing on awarding college scholarships to the children of breast cancer patients.

Applicants must be students who have either lost a parent to breast cancer, have a parent who is currently undergoing treatment for the disease or have a parent who is a breast cancer survivor. Applications are available at memorial.org/melscholarshipfund and must be received by Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Current college students or high school seniors within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga are eligible to apply.

Applications must include two written essays, recommendation letter, list of extracurricular activities and awards, proof of a breast cancer diagnosis and school transcript. The fund does not set a minimum grade point average requirement; however, GPA may be used as a factor in awarding scholarships. Any student is encouraged to apply.

Scholarship winners will be announced in spring 2022.

The MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund 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.

Locher started the foundation during her own battle with breast cancer because she was concerned about her own son’s future education. She did not want other parents to share that concern while they were struggling with this disease. Locher passed away in 2005 after her third bout with cancer.

Over the past 19 years, the fund has awarded 540 scholarships totaling $981,500. The awards are designed to ease the emotional and financial burdens faced by families dealing with breast cancer.

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.

CHI Memorial Foundation also sponsors Mel’s Club, a breast health awareness and education program for teen girls. Topics covered include myths and misconceptions about breast cancer, prevention and detection of the disease, and how to do a breast self-exam. Mel’s Club also includes remarks from a breast cancer survivor. Presentations are available for schools, churches, civic organizations and clubs.

For more information on Mel’s Club or the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund, visit memorial.org/melscholarshipfund or contact Cindy Pare, MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund coordinator, at Cynthia_Pare@memorial.org.

Online donations to the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund can be made at memorial.org/foundation. Checks can be mailed to CHI Memorial Foundation, 2525 de Sales Ave., Chattanooga, Tenn., 37404. Make a notation to direct to the MEL Scholarship Fund on the memo line of check.

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