LaPlace student scholarship award tonight at Relay

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 2, 2005

New Orleans – Alyssa Whitman of LaPlace has been awarded a $1,000 college scholarship by the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society. The scholarship will be presented at the Relay For Life of St. John on April 30.

Alyssa will also serve as one of the Survivor Speakers during the Opening Ceremony of the Relay For Life for St. John Parish.

Scholarships were awarded based on financial need, leadership, academic achievement and community service. To be eligible, candidates must be under 25, have had a cancer diagnosis before age 21 and be a Mid-South resident. Students must also have a GPA of at least 2.5 and been accepted to an accredited school.

Last year, the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society awarded 178 scholarships to survivors in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Floyd and Clark counties in Indiana. The program awarded its first scholarships to students in 2001.

“Many cancer survivors find that affording college is difficult after paying high medical bills,” said Carlette Hines, survivorship director for the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society. “This scholarship often gives them an opportunity to attend college and pursue their dreams. Some of them would not be able to attend if not for our scholarship program.”

For more information about this scholarship program, call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.

The relay kicks off at 5 p.m. and lasts all night. Teams of eight to 15 people are formed from businesses, clubs, families or other organizations. The teams take turns walking the track and raising money for the cause. According to co-chair Bobby Zaidain, the event includes silent auctions, raffles and a food art competition.

The St. John Parish Relay for Life boasts the most survivor participation in the Greater New Orleans area.

For information on participating or donating, call Bobby Zaidain at (985) 652-5672 or the American Cancer Society, Greater New Orleans office at 504-469-0021.