Fair Awards $6,500 in Scholarships to Alaska Students
Palmer, Alaska – The Alaska State Fair has awarded $6,500 in scholarships to seven Alaska high school students. The students will receive their awards at their schools’ senior or graduation ceremonies this spring.
The 2013 scholarship recipients include first place $2,000 recipient Emelia Van Wyhe of Kenny Lake School, second place $1,500 recipient Makenzie Thompson of Colony High School, and third place $1,000 recipient Jacob Sy of West Anchorage High School.
Honorable mention $500 awards also went to Tyler VanAusdal of Palmer High School, Ashley Gonzalez of East Anchorage High School, Olivia Martin of Colony High School, and Marcus Moulton of Thunder Mountain High School.
A total of 32 junior and senior high school students from across Alaska applied for a scholarship from the Fair. Among other materials, applicants were required to submit an essay or creative project addressing questions including “how should the Fair grow to serve all of Alaska,” “how can the Fair showcase Alaska agriculture,” and “how would you use a booth at the Fair to educate or entertain, raise awareness of issues, or sell goods or services.”
The scholarship selection committee was impressed with the applicants’ ideas, which included hosting the Alaska State Fair “North,” a two-week run of the Fair in the Fairbanks area; an “Ag Across Alaska” exhibit offering virtual field trips to Alaska’s farms, ranches and gardens; and an “Iron Chef Alaska” competition pitting a well-known Alaska chef against a guest celebrity chef in a cook-off featuring Alaska Grown ingredients.
Other ideas shared by the applicants included a booth where fairgoers would create artwork by throwing darts at paint-filled balloons, while raising awareness and money for Alaska’s homeless teenagers; offering travel incentives to increase Fair attendance; additional exhibits on Alaska Native culture and Alaska’s history; and a gourmet Alaskan hot dog stand.
The 2013 scholarships were funded in part by the first-ever Cabbage Classic Lottery, organized by the Palmer Rotary Club during the 2012 Fair. Lottery participants guessed the weight of the winning cabbage in the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, and the winner split the proceeds with the Fair and Palmer Rotary.
Tickets for the 2013 Cabbage Classic go on sale May 15 through August 21 at the Palmer Visitor Center, Fireside Books, and the UPS Store in Palmer, and will also be available on the fairgrounds August 22 through August 30 at 3 p.m.