TRAVERSE CITY — Two Elk Rapids women each have $500 to put toward college expenses thanks to a new Miss Elk Rapids Scholarship Program fund.
The first Marjory Veliquette Memorial Scholarship Endowment was awarded to Mikisha Drogowski, 20, and Alyssa Veliquette, 19, for their giving spirit and commitment to community service.
The endowment was created to honor Marjory Veliquette, who was instrumental in creating the Community Foundation Miss Elk Rapids Scholarship Endowment to support scholarship awards each year for pageant winners.
“She believed strongly in the program and what it does to give young women an opportunity for personal development, growth, self-esteem building and preparation for job interviews and jobs themselves,” Veliquette’s daughter and Miss Elk Rapids Scholarship Program Director Sara McGuire said.
Veliquette died in April 2013. She was known for her giving heart, and the scholarship is meant to honor that, McGuire said.
The permanent endowment will award about $1,000 annually to Miss Elk Rapids participants who share Veliquette’s commitment to giving back to the community. The money was raised by Veliquette’s family and Elk Rapids community members and can be used toward any school.
Veliquette continued to encourage young women to participate in the pageant up until the end of her life, McGuire said.
“She was always advocating for these girls and trying to figure out how we can give away more money,” McGuire said. “It would just thrill her to no end that we are giving away more money to these women for their education. I think it’s a fantastic tribute to her.”