USMC Scholarship Foundation hosts annual Arizona Awards Dinner

AZ MCSF Scarlet and Gold Committee (Submitted photo)

AZ MCSF Scarlet and Gold Committee (Submitted photo)

On Sept. 12, more than 500 guests attended the Fifth Annual Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Awards Dinner to celebrate scholarship recipients and veterans.

The event is held each year to honor students and the community that invested more than $835,000 last year alone to support the children of Marine and Navy Corpsman in their dreams of higher-education, according to a press release.

As the local representative for the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children, the Arizona Campaign is proud to uphold the Scholarship Foundation’s mission of Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children.

This year’s dinner was held in conjunction with Marine Week Phoenix and was the capstone of the week’s festivities. The evening included a key-note address from Military Guest of Honor, Lieutenant General David H. Berger, and a speech from scholarship recipient Jeriah Sweatt, who is a sophomore at Arizona State University, the release stated.

Gerry and Leslie Jones. (Submitted photo)

Gerry and Leslie Jones. (Submitted photo)

As part of the program the recently launched U.S. Marine Corps Arizona specialty license plate, which benefits the Scholarship Foundation, was displayed and this year’s awards were presented to local community leaders. Veteran Marine Sergeant and respected architect, Gerry Jones, accepted the Semper Fidelis award for his contributions to the Corps and the community, stated the release.

The 2015 Service Above Self award was presented to Veteran Marine Corporal and former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris for his leadership and commitment to Arizona.

“It is an honor to be a part of an event that recognizes not only the service and sacrifices of Marines but also the people that have come together to support them,” stated Andy McMillan, Arizona Campaign Scarlet and Gold Committee co-chair, in the release. “Being able to help their families by providing the invaluable gift of education is one of the best ways we can pay tribute our country’s Marine and Navy Corpsmen.”

In July, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona Campaign announced that 85 students from and/or attending school in Arizona had received more than $240,000 in scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year, according to the release. Thanks to the support of the Arizona community, the local team expects to reach its annual fundraising goal of $1,000,000.

On a national level, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than 35,000 scholarships, valued at nearly $100 million, in the past 53

Tank (Submitted photo)

Tank (Submitted photo)

years, stated the release. These students have proven themselves to be focused and career minded, boasting an 80 percent graduation rate – nearly double the national average.

To learn more about the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, scholarship eligibility or opportunities to get involved, visit

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