The National Auto Auction Association Warren Young, Sr., Scholastic Foundation recently increased the amount of its annual merit scholarships to a total of $52,000.
The nonprofit organization's board of directors approved the measure following the overwhelming success of the Black Book Pedal Car Auction, a first-time fundraiser held during the 2014 NAAA Convention in September.
The charity event's entry fees and sales revenue from 14 customized pedal-powered vehicles, along with award sponsorships and additional contributions collected a grand total of $576,300 for the association's scholarship program — more than ten times the original fundraising goal.
Such an exceptional response encouraged the WYS Scholastic Foundation board to take immediate action, voting to increase each of the dozen financial awards by $1,000. Beginning next year the program will offer eight $5,000 scholarships for full-time study at a four-year institution and four $3,000 scholarshps for a two-year college or vocational-technical school.
"It didn't take long after seeing the results of the pedal car auction for the board to meet and reach its decision to increase the amounts," noted outgoing NAAA President Jack Neshe, who chairs the Foundation board comprised of fellow past presidents Paul Lips, Charlotte Pyle, Jay Cadigan and Dave Angelicchio. "We were extremely gratified by the support that far exceeded our expectations and felt such generosity required a gesture in the same spirit on our part."
Neshe added that the board was glad it could boost the scholarshp amounts given the rising costs of a college education since the NAAA established its scholarship program in 2004. "We've helped 120 deserving students from our NAAA family pursue their dreams of a higher education and thanks to the benevolence of our supporters, we will be able to ensure that legacy of learning continues even stronger for future generations," he said.
Including the proceeds from the pedal car auction, more than $2.1 million has been raised over the decade for the WYS Scholastic Foundation, which was named in honor of Warren Young, Sr., a pioneer of the auto auction industry who retired after 35 years of devoted service to his profession and the NAAA.
The program awards merit scholarships annually to 12 eligible full-time employees of NAAA member auctions or corporate offices, their children or grandchildren. Recipients are selected based on a variety of qualifications, including academic record, leadership skills, honors, goals and aspirations, work experience, and community involvement.
Applications for next year's scholarships can be submitted between November 15, 2014 and February 1, 2015. For more information, go to www.naaawysf.org.