pflag scholarships

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Holly Fesperman LeeSalisbury Post
The Salisbury-Rowan chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays will award two $1,000 academic scholarships to local students for the 2008-2009 school year.
One scholarship, named for Salisbury native Anne Stanback and her partner, Charlotte Kinlock, will go to a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender student from one of the local high schools. The group will also award the Founder’s Equality Scholarship, named in honor of Mike Clawson, the founder of Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG, to a student who is a straight ally.
“Awarding scholarships to Rowan County gay or lesbian students and their straight allies provides an important, positive statement to a group of young people who are coping amazingly well in an often adverse school environment,” Clawson said.
According to Clawson, gay and lesbian students are often overlooked as recipients of traditional scholarships.
“Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG is proud to support these articulate, accomplished scholars with great promise for future contribution to our society in general and to the cause of rights and recognition for (gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender) people in particular,” he said.
Clawson said the group’s Autumn Soiree, held at the Waterworks Visual Arts Center in November, was the major fundraiser contributing to the scholarships.
About 180 guests attended the event and PFLAG raised $9,500, Clawson said.
Applications for the scholarships are available at any of the six Rowan-Salisbury high schools. Students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average to apply.
Students can use the scholarships to help pay for education at a four-year university, a community college or a trade school.
Clawson said a scholarship advisory committee will choose the two recipients.
Committee chairwoman and retired high school guidance counselor Margaret Basinger said awarding the scholarships is special to her because “it shows our gay and lesbian students that there is support for them in our community. This scholarship for (gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender) students and straight allies is a scholarship that represents acceptance and tolerance for all.”In addition to Basinger, scholarship committee members are:
– Mark Lewis, Salisbury City Council member.
– Daryl Bruner, Salisbury resident and director of student counseling at Pfieffer University.
– Lina Drinkard, director of the N.C. Teacher Cadet program for the N.C. Association of Educators.
– Darrell Hancock, a local attorney.
– The Rev. Dr. Marcus B. Hovis, a local Lutheran pastor.
Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or