Left to right: Hernan Chavez, Bill Jacinto (1971 Baler) and Ethel Sandoval Barron.

Hernan Chavez and Ethel Sandoval Barron, recent San Benito High School graduates, were awarded this year’s Class of 1971 Scholarship. Each youth will be presented $1,000 in the Fall to help pursue his or her educational goals.

The Class of 1971 Scholarship is the first, and thus far only, scholarship to be sponsored by an alumni class of the Hollister high school. Since 2009, the fund has distributed $18,000 to 14 Baler graduates. Each year, the fund’s selection committee reviews 40 or more applications for the $2,000 scholarship. In years that there is a tie between two deserving applicants, the scholarship is divided into equal amounts.

Celebrating its 10th year, the fund was established by 1971 Balers Rudy Bermudes, Debbie Carrillo Villalon and Debbie Paura Overweser. Bermudes initiated the groundwork for the scholarship after being inspired by the Baler scholarship awards night that he attended one year. The scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation for San Benito County.

Usually during the summer, the 1971 Balers and friends come together to raise money through its annual silent auction and raffle fundraiser. The silent auction has included such items as golf packages, gift baskets, local restaurant certificates, jewelry, glass pumpkins, boxes of premium wine and a week-long luxury condo stay in Kauai. This year the event will take place at Bear’s Hideway in San Juan Bautista on Saturday, Aug. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. Appetizers by Chef Mike Fisher, of Fisher’s Restaurant in Hollister, will be served, and local wines and handcraft beers will be available for purchase. Admission is $25 per person, which can be purchased at the door.

If anyone would like to donate items to the fundraiser, please contact Toni Rovella at rovellat57.tr@gmail.com or Rudy Bermudes at rudyb50@hotmail.com.

Monetary gifts, large and small, are accepted throughout the year. Checks made out to Class of 1971 Scholarship can be sent to the Community Foundation for San Benito County, 829 San Benito Street, Suite 200, Hollister,  95023. To make a donation with a credit card, call the Community Foundation at 831-630-1924. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about the Class of 1971 Scholarship and this year’s fundraiser, visit www.classof1971scholarship.org.