There’s no getting around it: college is expensive. The hundreds of Monroe Bearcats who will be graduating in June are very aware of the rising costs of secondary education; so are their parents. Unfortunately, with the economy still in recession, many of those graduates are having a tough time figuring out how to afford college. That’s where scholarships come in.
Monroe is known throughout the Sky Valley for the number and amount of scholarships given each year. In 2012 more than $46,000 were awarded to Monroe graduates. The majority of the money came from businesses, non-profits and private sources. One of the non-profits is Monroe Lip Sync.
Since its conception in 2004, the Monroe Lip Sync has awarded $16,000 to 18 students. The Lip Sync was the idea of five aspiring mothers of Monroe students. The moms ranged in age from 27-44, and between them had 16 children, ages 1-15. What started out as a fun way to enjoy a family-friendly evening of entertainment has turned into one of the most popular musical events in the Sky Valley.
When the moms (Gina Dahlinger, Erin Kingery, Randie Olson, Jenny Schroeder and Kathi Cooley) had their first organizational meeting, their goal was to help at least one child go to college, even if it was just paying for books or one semester’s tuition. That first Lip Sync eight years ago was attended by 110 people, had 20 acts, and raised $300. Last year, that same Lip Sync with those same five moms filled the Performing Arts Center at Monroe High School, had 20 acts, and raised $3,000.
They did it with the help of several local businesses, including Dr. Max Orthodontics, Big Color Signs, Kindness Animal Clinic, Johansen Mechanical, Ixtapa and Monroe Digital Copy.
2013 is looking to be a tough year for financial support for the Lip Sync. Several of the past sponsors, while loving the Lip Sync and the concept of supporting Monroe graduates, are not able to help financially this year.
“If you own a business in Monroe, chances are you already support a local sports team and hang posters in your business promoting our town’s wonderful events,” said Kathi Cooley. “If not, and if you have a few extra dollars you would like to donate to Monroe children, check out the Monroe Lip Sync website at www.monroelipsync.org to see what they’re all about. Every single dollar donated to the Monroe Lip Sync is given to a Monroe High School graduate. And your business gets some great advertisement the night of the show!”
The 2013 Monroe Lip Sync is Saturday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at Monroe High School. Come early if you want a good seat. Tickets are $5 at the door.