By STEVE BROWN
Dairy Farmers of Washington and Les Schwab Tires have named two high school student athletes as the inaugural winners of the Smart Choices Scholarship.
Tanner Perry from Snohomish and Kendall Todd from Odessa were chosen for their achievements on the field and in the community.
Each will receive the $5,000 scholarship at the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association annual Hall of Fame Banquet on May 8 in Renton, Wash.
In all, 360 high school seniors who participated in a WIAA sport or activity during the school year applied for the scholarships. The scholarship program was started last fall by the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Les Schwab Tires in conjunction with the WIAA.
"The Dairy Farmers of Washington have a long history of supporting student athletes," said Jeff Steele, director of retail marketing and processor relations for the Washington Dairy Products Commission. "We founded the scholarships to do something that would really make a difference for young people who have already made a difference."
Perry lettered in football, golf and wrestling to earn nine varsity letters and is ranked eighth in a class of 374 seniors.
He will put his scholarship funds toward becoming a special education teacher. His interest in helping those with special needs began in his freshman year when he met Ike, a fellow student with Down Syndrome. Though he couldn't run well, Ike liked to play football, and Perry mentored him.
Todd played basketball, track and field and volleyball to also earn nine varsity letters. During her senior year, she has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and has been accepted into Whitworth University's honors program.
She served as Miss Odessa Queen, promoting her community, and she undertook several community projects sponsored by Future Business Leaders of America. One of those projects was raising funds for a young boy suffering from cerebral palsy so he could travel to Germany for a stem-cell transplant.