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Motorcycle riding veterans endow scholarship for comrades

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The American Legion Riders District 8, Post 2 signed an endowed scholarship for Colorado State University-Pueblo veterans and their families on March 31.

Members of the Pueblo Riders along with Conrad Waggener from CSU-Pueblo’s Upward Bound veteran’s program worked together to set the guidelines for the scholarship, according to Alicia Early from the school’s foundation office.

The scholarship is for the veterans who have been serving in the Middle East and their immediate family members including widows/widowers,’ spouses and children, Claude R. “Butch” Chavez, Vice President of the Pueblo American Legion Riders, said.

“The American Legion Riders District 8, Post 2 helps all veterans. We particularly wanted to concentrate our efforts on the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans when they come home,” Chavez said.american-legion.jpg

Chavez said he recognizes veterans do have the GI Bill, which assists them with college, but the bill doesn’t always cover all the expenses of school. The American Legion Riders wanted to provide supplemental funds for veterans and their families.

The need to help veteran students was discovered when the American Legion Riders spoke with Waggener and found veterans have dropped out of school due to lack of funding, Chavez said.

Although the scholarship is not available yet, the American Legion Riders already has plans to raise funds for it, Chavez said.

Chavez said the American Legion Riders is currently working on grants for the scholarship.

An endowed scholarship must be filled within five years of signing with a minimum of a $25,000 donation, Early said.

“Our goal for the first year is $50,000 and we are going to work hard to try to get that,” Chavez said.

 “The scholarship will be available upon endowment,” Early said.