Alumni and more give $91,000 to Ely’s graduating class of 2018

The number is staggering. A total of $91,000 in scholarships was given away at Wednesday’s Awards Assembly to seniors at Ely Memorial High School. Of that, just over $82,000 came from local sources. Over 50 different scholarships, many from alumni, will help the 40 Ely seniors as they head off next year to get their university or college educations.
Now the math doesn’t work out perfectly of course. Each graduate didn’t receive $2,000 and, just as in previous years, there were deserving seniors who didn’t receive an award.
We wouldn’t advocate for simply divvying up the total amount but we do believe there’s always room to make the system work better. This would mean those awarding the scholarships would have to be more flexible. It’s great to give your scholarship to the top of the class, but that doesn’t always make sense. There’s plenty of kids just as or more deserving who get overlooked.
With that in mind, there was one award that caught our attention.
David Foster started his presentation saying, “Ely has eight schools including a junior college, with 80 instructors and a student enrollment of 2,000. Ely Memorial High School at 500 East Harvey Street is a million dollar building, thoroughly modern and completely equipped. Minnesota, the state guide, dated 1936.”
Foster, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was presenting a scholarship on behalf of his dad, Eldon Foster, who was a history teacher in Ely for over 35 years and a school board member for nearly 20 years. Eldon Foster served in World War II and on the Ely city council. And for those who knew him well, he made a mean batch of sourdough pancakes.
“My dad believed education to be one of life’s greatest gifts,” said Foster as he presented a scholarship to Emma Larson who is seeking to become an elementary school teacher.
Our congratulations to all of the seniors at Ely Memorial as we enter the last month of the school year. Enjoy the days you have left roaming the halls and completing your high school education.
Whether you won a scholarship or not, most importantly you are accomplishing a goal that you’ve been working on since kindergarten becoming: a high school graduate.
Maybe going to university is the next step for you. Maybe you’re looking at what the armed forces have to offer. Maybe a vocational school better fits you and your life goals.
Whatever you choose, know that Ely will always be your home. Go Wolves!