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Rotary scholarship winners announced

Five scholarship winners were revealed Monday during the Rotary Club of Nicholasville’s weekly meeting, held in the Community Room at Central Bank.

The club awards “Service Above Self” Scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors from Jessamine County.

Matthew Derosett, Reese Bolton and Sophie Jatau are each graduates of West Jessamine, while Lucas Hammond and Brennen Zeigler hail from East Jessamine.

Derosett claimed the top prize of $1,000, known as The Joe McMurtry Award. The scholarship is named in honor of the former owner of Drug Mart and a longtime Nicholasville Rotarian. McMurtry was a president of the club (1979-80) who did much to enhance the community – often anonymously — and epitomized Rotary’s slogan of “Service Above Self.”

Each of the other four scholarships are valued at $500.

Derosett, an Eagle Scout who finished his scouting career as all-time leader in service hours for Troop 473, plans to study biology at the University of Kentucky.

Bolton, a four-year soccer player for West, also will study biology and pre-medicine at West Virginia Wesleyan.

Jatau arrived in the United States from Nigeria in 2014. A member of the West track and field team, she will begin studies in nursing and biology at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, with plans to move on to UK.

Hammond, a pitcher and third baseman on the East baseball team, will focus on graphic design and media studies at Asbury University.

Zeigler, captain of the East soccer team, plans to major in criminal justice at the University of the Cumberlands.

The main fund-raiser to support Rotary scholarships is a Pancake Breakfast and sponsorships, an event usually held in February. Because of the pandemic, the breakfast was postponed until 2022. Most of the funds for this year’s scholarships come from the Nicholasville club’s modest reserves.

Yet, unsolicited, several sponsors contributed. Rotary thanks two Silver Level sponsors ($250): Leta Mattingly, CPA, and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous while honoring McMurtry. J. Stephen Boyd, CPA, added a Bronze Level contribution ($100).

Awarding scholarships is Nicholasville Rotary’s way to show support for the good works and leadership within the county that are performed each year by a senior class.

Applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or above. Selection is then based on achievements (20 points), community involvement (40 points), extracurricular activities (10 points), a short essay (20 points) and two letters of recommendation (10 points).

The Rotary Club of Nicholasville meets at noon each Monday, except holidays, in the community room at Central Bank, 301 North Main Street. Guests are welcome.