Roseville Scholarship Foundation aids dozens of students every year

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 15, 2019


ROSEVILLE — Since 1964, the Roseville Scholarship Foundation has been giving graduating seniors in Roseville Community Schools a leg up.

Each year, dozens of $1,000 scholarships are distributed to students graduating from Roseville High School to use for college or other post-graduate education.

“It helps students with costs like books and other expenses, but it is able to help a number of students,” said Diane Rogers, who helps organize the foundation and its fundraisers. “Last year, we gave out 52 scholarships out of 60 applicants. For many of them, it might be the only scholarship they get.”

Hundreds of students have benefited from the foundation’s scholarships.

“The foundation has been around since 1964 and is for Roseville High School graduates,” said Roseville Community Schools Superintendent John Kment. “How much money is raised each year determines how many scholarships we distribute. The committee does a ranking of those who apply, the names are blocked off while they deliberate so they can remain impartial, and they give out the scholarships based on who they believe represented themselves well.”

The scholarship recipients are chosen by a group of volunteer readers from among the foundation members who are not parents of any of the applying students. They rank the students based on the quality of the applications, and however many scholarships are available that year are given to those ranked highest.

“The criteria for those chosen are based on the students’ applications,” said Kment. “They discuss in their applications about their experiences growing up in the Roseville community and their plans for the future. (The readers) also look at things like what courses the students have taken, grade-point average, what clubs and activities they were involved in. They then rank all the applicants, and those ranked highest are given the money.”

The scholarships are funded through community donations and a number of small trusts; however, the bulk of the money comes from fundraisers hosted throughout the year. The next fundraiser will be a dinner dance taking place at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Vintage House, 31816 Utica Road in Fraser.

“The dinner dance started at the (Veterans of Foreign Wars) center here in Roseville many years ago,” said Kment. “We got about 200 members there the first year. It kept expanding throughout the years to about 450 attendees last year. A Roseville (High School) graduate owns the Vintage House and has given us access to the venue to host it.”

Tickets for the dinner dance cost $40 if purchased by Friday, Feb. 22. Tickets will cost $45 after that date. They are available by calling (586) 445-5505.

The foundation members say the dinner dance is key to the success of the scholarships.

“This will be the biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Rogers. “Last year, we had 450 people attend and made $23,000 at the dance alone. It’s great to see all the district officials and local politicians come out as well to support the students.”

There will be a silent auction of donated items, such as Detroit Red Wings tickets and memorabilia, paintings and other artwork, and passes to local restaurants. A Roseville High School graduate who received one of the scholarships in past years will speak at the event and will lead an invocation at the beginning of the night. There also will be a 50-50 raffle as well as dancing and music.

“It says something about the foundation that they can raise this amount of money each year and give it out. We raise money through several fundraisers, like the scholarship dance, a golf outing and a 5K run. We also get donations from members of the community and local businesses. We lost a young man to leukemia named Danny Radcliff about 15 years ago, and his family set up a perpetual scholarship in his name as well. Jonna Construction Co. also gave a large donation several years ago to form a trust like we did for the deceased student so they can provide money each year for scholarships.”

Kment said seemingly small bits of assistance like this can mean all the difference to students considering their futures.

“It’s such a nice night. The whole community gets involved,” remarked Kment. “I would say we have as supportive a community — whether it’s the city or the police or the Fire Department — as anywhere in the country. It’s an excellent way to not only support the local schools, but to also help a young person move on to college or any other post-graduate training. … One thousand dollars isn’t a big amount, but it can help with things like books or help pay for part of tuition. It’s a little money to help them get going.”