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Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara Awarding Record $8.7 Million to County Students

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara will award a record $8.7 million to nearly 3,000 Santa Barbara County students at two annual awards ceremonies this week — Wednesday in Santa Barbara and on Thursday in Santa Maria.

Proud parents, students and local philanthropic leaders will gather at the Sunken Garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to honor students from the southern part of the county on Wednesday and at First Christian Church in Santa Maria to honor students from the northern part of the county on Thursday.

The annual awards ceremonies will be hosted by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara in conjunction with its largest partner, the Santa Barbara Foundation. Both events are free and are open to the public.

This year, the Scholarship Foundation received 3,481 applications for financial support. While 2,948 of those students will receive critical student aid, over 500 deserving students were turned away due to lack of funds.

“The Board of Directors of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is extremely grateful to our many contributors who have made it possible for the foundation to award a record $8.7 million in aid this year. This is the largest amount awarded by any community scholarship provider in the nation," said Janet Garufis, president of the Board of Directors of the Scholarship Foundation. "However, as proud as we are of this achievement, we never stop thinking about the many worthy young people that we had to turn away. It is heartbreaking to deny aid to any deserving student who wishes to pursue a higher education degree or credential.”

Community members wishing to show their support are invited to attend Wednesday's awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. and Thursday's awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

— Raissa Smorol is the development director for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

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