KARL Chevrolet has launched its 26th annual high school scholarship promotion, pledging to contribute $50 to area scholarship programs this spring in the name of each individual or business purchasing or leasing a new or certified pre-owned vehicle through April 30.

Since 1986 KARL Chevrolet's scholarship drives have raised more than $83,000 for area high school graduates for their continuing education, including nearly $10,000 for scholarships for Darien High School graduates.

"As a leading business in the area, we feel it's important to be actively involved in the communities that support us. The Scholarship Drive has become a signature event for us over the past 26 years, and we're delighted that we are able to make a significant contribution to help area students again this year," Karl commented said. "With a daughter in college myself, I know first hand that tuition increases continue to outpace the rate of inflation. This fact simply magnifies the need for every dollar that will make a difference to students who need assistance. We believe our customers are gratified to know that their purchase has helped our graduates further their education."

"The economic downturn is continuing to affect our students as they plan for college," Dan Haron, principal of Darien High School, said. "We have many students for whom scholarship money can be extremely helpful. With the cost of college going up fast, it makes things that much more difficult, so we're very appreciative of the generous support our students receive from Karl Chevrolet," he observed.

Schools participating in the KARL Scholarship program -- New Canaan, Darien, Stamford, Westhill, Norwalk, Brien McMahon and Greenwich High Schools -- are asked to use a student's commitment to and involvement in both school and community volunteer activities as a factor for awarding the scholarships, Karl said. This criterion matches the Karl family's own commitment to community service. All scholarships are administered by the local schools.

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The Darien High School scholarship program awards money received from various sources, including local organizations and clubs, businesses such as KARL Chevrolet and individual donors. This past spring, scholarship awards were made to 34 members of the class of 2010 for their continuing education. Many awards are based on financial need, documented on an application submitted to the high school. Selections are determined by participating community organizations and a committee of counselors, teachers and administrators.

For information, students should contact Patti Schoknecht at the high school; applications for assistance in the 2011-2012 school year were due by March 29. A general announcement of this year's scholarship recipients will be made at the senior scholarship ceremony, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19.

Founded in 1927, the KARL Company operates the award-winning, customer-focused Chevrolet Dealership at 261 Elm Street in New Canaan, one block west of the Metro North train station.KARL Automotive Service of Greenwich, which services all makes and models, is located at 1330 East Putnam Ave. To reach KARL Automotive Service of Greenwich, call 203-637-1711 or e-mail KarlAutoSvc@karldirect.com. Visit the KARL Dealership on the www.karldirect.com or call KARL Chevrolet at 203-966-9508.