Top row (left to right): Allie McClarty, Dominick Welte, Faith Gomez, Hope Markley, Isabelle Insko. Bottom row: Jacob Link, Molly Frasier, Morgan Seymour, Rylie Martinette, Trevor Diemil.


Graduating from high school will be much different rite of passage this year. Due to the COVID-19 virus, seniors everywhere won’t be attending graduation ceremonies, parties, proms or scholarship awards programs.

To soften the blow, schools and organizations are finding ways to compensate by coming up with   alternatives as much as possible.

One such organization is Elev815, a not for profit group of business owners and individuals who support local businesses and education programs through fundraising and monthly networking events

Elev815’se goal in their first year was to raise enough money through membership dues and a couple of fundraising events to provide $500 scholarships to four 2020 Hononegah High School graduates.

In February of this year, members gathered for a monthly Featured Business event at Louie’s Tap House in Roscoe.

Elev815 President Toni Brown, owner of Stepping Stones Child’s Center in , told the crowd about the group’s success in raising $2,000 for scholarships. Following Brown’s words, six area business owners: Roscoe Chiropractic; Embroid This; The Gem Shop; Jim Blevins State Farm Insurance; Brownfield Environmental and Stepping Stones Child’s Center, came forward and pledged $500 for six additional scholarships.

“I couldn’t be more proud or excited since supporting our youth is one of Elev815’s primary goals,” Brown said.

In March, Hononegah seniors were given the opportunity to submit their information. Elev815 members Jim Blevins, Jeremy Jones and Brett Rini conducted 13 interviews through Zoom, over a two-day period.

Brown said the decisions were difficult due to the many impressive applicants.

“This week we will be delivering the scholarships to the students,” Brown said. “We will do our best to make it a special and festive occasion.” Brown said.



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