That’s how much the Italian Festival’s Scholarship Program has given to students since 1987.
The tradition continues this year as 14 students are walking away with a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice.
2017 Winner, Mary Babinchak, says it’s a huge weight off her shoulders.
“School is very expensive. Even if you go to a more affordable school, it’s still a lot of money. So the fact that they’re raising money to give scholarships to all of us, that really means a lot. I was definitely relieved that I got it,” Babinchak said.
2004 recipient, Adrienne Daugherty, says she remembers how excited she was when she received hers. It was a big help when she went to school.
“As I was going through college, I didn’t realize how expensive college was, but once I graduated and those payments hit six months later, I saw how pricey it really was. So that scholarship was a huge, huge help,” Daugherty said.
While the scholarships help financially, winners say the biggest impact is using the money for a future.
“I think it’s so important because it could help somebody who maybe otherwise would not have been able to go to college and further their education,” Daughtery said.
“I think it’s really special. There aren’t a lot of festivals that give away scholarships. I’m so grateful to the committee for awarding me this scholarship,” Babinchak added.
The scholarship winners were awarded back in May.