Scholarship recipients of the Verneda A. and Leo J. Wachter, Sr. Foundation 2004 Scholarships for graduating high school seniors from Blair County were announced this Spring. These students and their parents were guests of the Foundation’s Board of Directors at an awards dinner on Sunday, May 16, 2004. These twenty-two students who have chosen to continue their education following their graduation were selected from a pool of applicants who were required to submit an essay answering the question, “Why do you want to further your education?” Applicants were also required to submit their transcripts and a letter of recommendation from one of their teachers, guidance counselor or principal. Members of the board of the Foundation make up the selection committee.
The Verneda A. and Leo J. Wachter, Sr. Foundation was established to provide financial assistance to selected individuals and groups in the Blair County area to assist with educational and medical needs. Mr. and Mrs. Wachter, Sr. were the former owners of the Penn Alto Bottling Works, which bottled and distributed Pepsi-Cola products. Five areas that were very important to Verneda and Leo were FAMILY, CHURCH, COUNTRY, EDUCATION and ENTERPRISE. Since one of the areas was education, the Foundation awards scholarships to graduating seniors to help them further their education. Students awarded the $1500 scholarships this year include Elizabeth Bundy, Thomas Chirdon, Jordan Dillen, Julia Figurelli, Claarissa Gamber, Amber Laird, Caitlin Seery and Alison Trude from Altoona Area High School; Rebecca Snyder from Bellwood-Antis High School; Damian Cole, Guy Finelli II and Matthew Zeak from Bishop Guilfoyle High School; Ashley Hileman, Christopher Miller and Nicholas Will from Central High School; Brittany Claar, Elizabeth Claar and Sean Svitana from Claysburg-Kimmel High School; Evan Stover from Tyrone High School; and Elicia Frye, Katasha Miller, Jay Over and Jesse Weaver from Williamsburg High School.
Since its establishment in 1987, the Wachter Foundation has awarded over 310 academic scholarships to deserving Blair County graduating seniors. Applications are available in the late Fall at each of the local high schools.