By Shanna Avery

Herald Review Staff Writer

MECOSTA COUNTY — Four new scholarships are available to high school graduates of four market areas served by Lake Financial Corporation. Available through the Lake-Oscola State Bank/Wenger Insurance Agency Centennial Scholarship fund, the scholarships are available to students from Baldwin High School, Walkerville High School and a high school in both Osceola and Mecosta Counties.

"Some of the long-term stockholders at the bank are getting together to provide this scholarship opportunity," said Ernie Wenger, owner of Wenger Insurance Company and former director of Lake-Osceola State Bank. "The initial endowment will provide $500 scholarships for students in the four market areas."

Endowment funds are set up so a donation can be made to the entire group of scholarship funds or just one scholarship.

Being involved in various community events for many decades, including church, scholarship funds, local government, cultural activities, charities and local service clubs, it is the hope of the Wenger family this endowment will help pay for students' college as well as provide opportunities to help students in their own communities in the future, Wenger said.

"The scholarships will commemorate our more than 100 year history of providing financial services to our communities and to recognize our newest market of Walkerville," said Lake-Osceola State Bank CEO Debora Smith-Olson.

The bank and its insurance subsidiary, the the Wenger Agency (formerly McPahil, Smith & Hollister) were established in 1906 and 1918.

"This is an amazingly kind gift," said Lake County Community Foundation assistant treasurer Ellen Kerans. "We are please this contribution will have such a lasting impact on our students' futures."