Hometown Heroes: Heritage scholars - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hometown Heroes: Heritage scholars

Hometown Heroes: Heritage scholars

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

The Heritage Classic Foundation - the organization that operates the RBC Heritage every April - has donated more than $35 million to Lowcountry charities since 1987 - the largest contribution coming in the form of scholarships. 

More Lowcountry students received grants at the annual scholarship luncheon on Tuesday. They were being recognized for past accomplishments and aided in their pursuit of even greater ones.

Eight more students from five Lowcountry high schools got a head start down the fast track they will travel, receiving the Heritage Classic Foundation Scholarship, one of the most significant marks the area's PGA Tour event makes on the community every year.

"They will go on to great careers,’’ said foundation chairman, Simon Fraser. “They’ll be anything from the military to doctors to lawyers to industry, computer research. I mean, they are the brightest kids in the county for the most part.’’

The scholarships were generated from proceeds of the 2016 RBC Heritage.

"I think Hilton Head is a very close community,’’ said Heritage Classic Foundation scholar, Charlotte Ruhlin, of Hilton Head Prep. “I know the Heritage brings a lot of people together. The whole Island and even Bluffton, everybody comes and watches the tournament, and I think it's very special that they give these scholarships to a lot of kids.’’

"The Heritage is such a big part of the community,’’ added scholarship recipient Thomas Felver, who attends Whale Branch Early College High School. “It tickles me to know they are giving back.’’

The four-year scholarships that total up to $22,000 will also give these elite students a better chance to reach their high goals.

"As of right now, I'm planning to study math and studio art and to do some exploring to see where my interests are,’’ said Hilton Head Prep’s Catherine Sheehan, who will enter Vanderbilt in the fall. “But I'm thinking I'll go into engineering down the road.’’

“I plan to study biology,’’ added Felver. “Biochemistry at Clemson if I go there and probably human biology if I go to Harvard, and then after that, I want to go to medical school.’’

The Heritage Classic Foundation has been making those kinds of dreams come true for 25 years through its scholarship program.

And this year's recipients, all WTOC Hometown Heroes, appreciate that they are getting more than a financial boost from the Heritage.

"I know their main goal is to use their funds to help improve the life of others,’’ said Ruhlin. “A lot of kids at my school have gotten this award and I thought it was a very prestigious award. I was very surprised when I got it, very pleasantly surprise. I know it's a big deal. I know all the schools really think very highly of this. So, yeah, it was a big deal to me.’’

Including scholarships, they also give money to a fund at the Technical College of the Lowcountry and USC Beaufort. The Heritage Classic Foundation will award almost $4 million to Lowcountry students in 2017. 

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