Scholarship Challenge teams prepare for competition
Thirty-three years ago, Scholarship Challenge creator and host Chuck Carver met with eight teachers in his office at Choice Radio to plan the first-ever broadcast of the high school quiz-style competition.
The broadcast has since grown to include 24 high schools, an eight-team junior high bracket, a scholarship contest and a dedicated group of patrons and sponsors helping to contribute to around $7,000 in prize money for area schools.
"It's more than a radio show," Carver said Thursday at a kickoff luncheon for the 2013 tournament, which has long outgrown the Choice Radio offices and is now held at the Club at Shepard Hills in Waverly. "It's a community event."
At Thursday's luncheon, team advisers and school administrators networked, set up practice and scrimmage sessions and drew random cards for their team's spot in the four-round preliminary bracket.
The first round of competition starts Jan. 12, 2013 in the Patterson Auditorium on the Guthrie campus in Sayre. The event's longtime home, the Waverly High School auditorium, is closed for renovations, Carver said.
Later preliminary rounds will be held Feb. 9, Feb. 23 and March 2, with the finals scheduled for March 9. All rounds are open to the public and broadcast live on WATS and WAVR.
Teams from Troy, Montrose, Wellsboro, Tioga Central, Spencer-Van Etten and North Rome Christian School will face off in the first round. Two new schools - Whitney Point High School from Broome County, N.Y. and Groton High School from Tompkins County, N.Y. - were welcomed this year, Carver said.
Other participating schools include Northeast Bradford, Sayre, Waverly, Towanda, Athens, Wyalusing, Canton, Sullivan County, Elmira Free Academy, Elmira Southside, Elmira Notre Dame, Mansfield, Mountain View, Elk Lake, New Covenant Academy and Owego Free Academy.
The $1,000 Valley McDonald's/Brandon Schuchardt Memorial Scholarship will be awarded for the second year to a participating student, Carver said.
The scholarship will be awarded based primarily on a written essay. This year's essay theme is "How I Make a Difference in My Family, My School and My Community," Carver said.
The program has awarded over $165,000 to participating schools and earned 24 state and national awards in its run, including being honored twice by the White House, Carver said.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.