Each year, the Lonoke Scholarship Foundation bestows scholarships to graduating seniors from Lonoke High School.

The Foundation was started in 2002 with a Finley Scholarship awarded in honor of Wade Finley II.

"We continue to award a yearly scholarship for the Finley Memorial," foundation member Rosanne Florence said recently.

She said a generous memorial donation from First State Bank and the Bennett family, in honor of Neil Bennett Sr. has also allowed the foundation to award additional scholarships each year in Bennett’s honor.

A scholarship was also made available by family, friends and co-workers to honor Coach Harold "Hal" Steelman and his dedication to students and education.

In 2012, the Foundation was honored to award a scholarship donated by his family in memory of Dr. Joe Rochelle. This scholarship went to a student interested in a future in the medical field.

This year a new scholarship will be awarded in memory of Joe Melton Jr. Family, friends and community members established this fund.

"Yearly pledges, donations and memorials from businesses and community members to all of the Funds have allowed the Foundation to grow," Florence said. "The LSF awards multiple scholarships each year from a general fund as well as the above accounts."

Over the past 11 years the Foundation has awarded 52 scholarships.

"The future growth and prosperity of our community is determined by our youth," Florence said. "The formation of the Lonoke Scholarship Foundation offers citizens of Lonoke an opportunity to support our youth. Individuals working together by pledging yearly donations and making memorial contributions regularly will provide many future generations of scholarships. We need your help.

"If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of us. Memorial gifts, honor gifts and pledges can be dropped off with Karen Hardke at First State Bank."

They can also be mailed to: Lonoke Scholarship Foundation, 221 West Holly Street, Lonoke, AR 72086.

"Thank you again for your help in the past and for your support in the future," Florence said.

The Lonoke Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors: Marthann Bennett, Betty Fletcher, Rosanne Florence, Karen Hardke, Sharron Havens, Reba Hobson, Barbara Melton and Ginger Stuart.