The contribution is a portion of the $3,300 in scholarship assistance provided to graduating students from lower Fairfield County high schools this spring from Karl Chevrolet; recipients were selected by the schools.
Since the New Canaan dealership began running its April high school scholarship promotion 28 years ago, it has raised $95,700 for area scholarship programs, including more than $35,000 for New Canaan, according to Leo Karl III, Karl Chevrolet's president.
"As a leading business in the area, we feel it's important to be actively involved in the communities that support us," he said. "The scholarship drive has become a signature event for us, and we're delighted that we are able to make a significant contribution to help area students again this year. With tuition increases continuing to outpace the rate of inflation, we know that every dollar makes a difference to students who need assistance. Our customers are also gratified to know that their purchase has helped our graduates further their education.
"We believe our scholarship effort fits with the spirit of Winston Churchill's famous saying `We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,' and we're proud to put those words into action," Karl said.
"The New Canaan Scholarship Foundation, with the longstanding commitment of community-minded contributors such as Karl Chevrolet, is one of the most significant ways New Canaan helps its young adults to pursue their goals of a more successful future," said Bryan Luizzi, principal of New Canaan High School and chairman of the scholarship foundation. "We at NCHS are truly grateful to the Karl family for their kindness and consideration. Their generosity truly makes a difference."
Lisa Isherwood, co-chairman of the NCHS Scholarship Foundation's Scholarship Committee, with Mary DiCosmo, Roberta Peet and Kathy Schulte, noted that the scholarship fund helps bridge the gap for students with documented need.
"We appreciate Karl Chevrolet's contribution again this year to the New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation. With continued support from the community, many deserving graduates will be able to further their education. Donations of any size will help us make a difference," Isherwood said.
The scholarship foundation awards are made annually to students enrolled in a variety of four-year, two-year and technical programs, and decisions are based solely on financial need. The identity of each student is anonymous throughout the decision-making process. First- and second-year awards are 100 percent grants. In succeeding years, the student receives a percentage of the award as an interest-free loan, which is repaid during the five years following graduation.
For its 28th scholarship promotion, the dealership had pledged to contribute $50 to area scholarships in the name of individuals and companies purchasing or leasing a new or certified pre-owned vehicle in April.
Karl's scholarship promotion was conceived in 1986 as a way of saying thank you to the communities that have supported the dealership since it opened in 1927, according to Karl. In 2002, when the company opened Karl Automotive Service of Greenwich at 1330 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich High School was added to the program.
In addition to New Canaan and Greenwich, participating schools are Darien, Stamford, Westhill, Norwalk and Brien McMahon, and are asked to use a student's commitment to and involvement in both school and community volunteer activities as criteria for awarding the scholarships.