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Black Forest EOF awards record number of scholarships

The Educational Opportunity Foundation of the Black Forest awarded 10 area high school students with scholarships during its annual awards banquet April 20 at La Foret Conference and Recreation Center in Black Forest, Colorado.Nancy Billiard, EOF secretary, said this year, 10 scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each ñ- $15,000 total ñ- were awarded to 10 area students. It was the largest number of students the organization has awarded at once in its history, said Rich Nesmith, EOF president.Founded 52 years ago in 1965, EOF has awarded at least one scholarship to a local student looking to further his/her education every year. The first, awarded in 1965, was ìa $50 scholarship awarded to a young lady heading to beauty school,î Nesmith said.ìFor the last eight years, weíve given nine scholarships,î said Nesmith, as he talked about the organizationís history. ìBut this year, thanks to some incredibly generous donations and some new donors, we were able to award a 10th scholarship.îNesmith thanked one Black Forest resident in particular: Brian Descar, owner of Descarís Roadside Bar and Grill on Shoup Road. Earlier in April, Descar shaved his head bald (it hadnít been cut since 2009), and donated his locks to Wigs for Kids, along with $2,500 to the EOF, according to a Colorado Fox 21 News report citing Kayln McMackinís April 15 article, ìBlack Forest man donates hair after 8 years of no haircut.îìThis organization is a community of people and businesses who are looking out for our youngest citizens,î Nesmith said.ìThis (opportunity) is because of the people of our community,î Billiard said. ìThatís how this started and thatís how it should be.îSince its inception, EOF has awarded scholarships to more than 200 ìstudents attending community and four-year colleges, vocation/trade schools and (other) academic endeavors,î according to its website.The banquet followed music provided by #7 Combo with Extra Sauce (scholarship recipient Patrick Marchbank played drums); Latigo Catering provided the food for the event. Guests listened to a presentation by Tom Tudor, who spoke at the event for the third time in EOFís history.Tudor served as a sentinel and then a relief commander at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., from February 1969 to Memorial Day 1970.While describing the challenges and the rewards of serving as a sentinel, Tudor offered words of encouragement to the students in the room: ìThis is important for those of you receiving these scholarships: Donít be afraid to take a step. Donít be afraid to take a small chance. You might do something great.îKatelynn Kroeker, a senior at Falcon High School, was one of this yearís scholarship recipients. Kroeker will be attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she plans to major in veterinarian medicine. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work with Zoobiquity, an international organization that explores the commonalities between humans and animals and attempts to diagnose, treat and heal patients of all species.This yearís other scholarship recipients were Anna Borden, Aubrey Dyer, Katelynn Hughes, Devon Kroeker (no relation), Valerie Lonsky, Patrick Marchbank, Grace Murphy, Laura Still and Tiffany Whiting.Nesmith said, ìWhat (Tudor) talked about was the pursuit of perfection. I think thatís something very important to hear for our young people who are pursuing their education. I hope that inspires you.îThis yearís donors included The Black Forest Jeweler; Black Forest Community Club; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Theesfeld; Rockiní B Feed and Supply; Fred Russell; Minor and Robby Dale Nelson; Descarís Roadside Bar and Grill; The Shamrock Foundation; The Gregory R. Davis Memorial Foundation; Janet and Michael Fortner; and banquet sponsors Ent Federal Credit Union and La Foret Conference and Recreation Center.For more information on the Educational Opportunity Foundation of the Black Forest, visit the website at

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