Karl Chevrolet has launched its 27th 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 promotions have raised more than $92,000 for area high school graduates for their continuing education, including nearly $34,000 for the New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation.

"As a leading business in the area, we feel it's important to be actively involved in the communities that support us," said Leo E. Karl III, president of Karl Chevrolet. "The scholarship drive has become a signature event for us over the past 28 years, and we're delighted that we are able to continue making a significant contribution to help area students.

"With my own daughter set to graduate high school and move on to college this year, I know firsthand the challenges of funding a higher education today. The simple fact is that tuition increases continue to outpace the rate of inflation. This magnifies the need for every dollar that will make a difference to students who need assistance. Over the years, we've received wonderful comments about our scholarship drive from both customers and students. 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."

Bryan Luizzi, principal of New Canaan High School and chairman of the NCHS Scholarship Foundation, added, "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. To help offset the ever-increasing costs of tuition, last year over 80 students received financial aid awards ranging from $500 to $5,000. All of these scholarships are based entirely on need, and many of these students could not have gone to school without this assistance.

"The foundation relies on the help of Karl Chevrolet and other generous members of the New Canaan community to fulfill it's mission, and they consistently come through on behalf of our graduates. In these challenging times, this impressive collaboration provides many students the added assistance they need to fulfill their dreams. 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 Finance Committee, noted that the fund is an invaluable community resource that helps bridge the gap for students with documented need. "We appreciate Karl Chevrolet's commitment to the New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation. Every year, there is an increase in the number of students that apply for financial assistance. 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."

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Last year, the New Canaan High School Foundation awarded grants to 81 of the 96 students who applied for aid. Grants ranged from $500 to $5,000, with an average award of $2,534. The foundation awarded $205,250 in total aid for the 2012-13 academic year. The New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation relies on contributions from businesses and civic organizations, loan repayments, and support from the annual town-wide mailing and student drive.

New Canaan, Darien, Stamford, Westhill, Norwalk, Brien McMahon and Greenwich high schools, all of which are participating in the Karl Scholarship program, 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.

Founded in 1927, the Karl Company operates a dealership at 261 Elm St., New Canaan.

For information, visit www.nchsscholarship.org or www.karldirect.com.