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Fund from stabbing attack to benefit Franklin Regional students

Patrick Varine
| Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

Money from the We Are FR fund, collected in the aftermath of the 2014 knife attack at Franklin Regional Senior High School, will be used to establish an annual scholarship for the district.

The fund, administered in part by the United Way of Westmoreland County, was initially used to help pay medical expenses for students injured in the attacks, and helped fund crisis counseling.

More than $34,000 remaining in the fund will be used by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County to establish the We Are Franklin Regional Scholarship, which will be awarded in June.

As far back as October 2014, fund administrators discussed the possibility of starting a scholarship.

Community Foundation Executive Director Phil Koch said that after the medical disbursements, fund administrators “began thinking about legacy and how to turn a negative into a positive, which resulted in this foundation-based scholarship to the school district.”

Franklin Regional seniors with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher are eligible to apply for the scholarship through the end of March.

A scholarship of up to $1,300 will be awarded, Koch said.

“The number of scholarships is really up to the committee,” Koch said. “We anticipate that they'll give out one per year, but the fund has the potential to grow and receive additional donations. If that continues, (the number of scholarships) may increase.”

Applications are available through the school district.

Koch said the establishment of the scholarship is a credit to the donors who raised more than $130,000 after the attacks.

“It's pretty clear that students, community members and staff at the school really do care for each other and want to demonstrate what it means to be a strong community,” he said. “It's really great to see that outpouring of care, and not only were they able to meet the medical expenses, but also to establish a scholarship to help the community, long-term.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at 724-850-2862 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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