HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (March 21, 2017) – Eight outstanding Beaufort County seniors were named Heritage Classic Foundation Scholars at a luncheon on Tuesday at the Sonesta Resort. The students come from five different high schools including May River High School and Whale Branch Early College High School, which have never had scholarships awarded previously.

During Tuesday’s awards presentation, Scott Richardson reminded the audience about why an extra award was added last year, “When the RBC Heritage’s Tartan Club was restructured in 2016, the members wanted to give back to one of the Foundation’s charitable programs. They chose the Scholar Program.  Their memberships fund the annual Tartan Club Award.”

Five of the newly named Scholars will receive an $18,000 scholarship over the next four years.  Three additional awards carry a $22,000 opportunity.  The latter scholarships honor the past Scholar Committee chairmen, John Zimmerman and the late Mike Malanick. The Tartan Club Award recognizes the donations made by the Tartan Club.

Next fall, 31 Beaufort County collegians will be receiving Foundation grants at an expenditure of $149,500.  A grand total of $3,965,350 will have been awarded to 312 students after the 2017 distribution.

In addition to these eight scholarships, the Foundation is funding four $2,500 annual scholarships to the University of South Carolina Beaufort and two $1,500 annual scholarships to the Technical College of the Low Country.

Richardson pointed out at Tuesday’s luncheon, sponsored by Palmetto Electric Cooperative, “These scholars are not just straight A students.  They are leaders in their schools, communities and churches.  They have interests that vary from engineering to music to fostering golden retrievers.”

The following graduating seniors were selected:

Beaufort High School – Sophia Bursch, Akasha Nelson
Hilton Head Island High School – Madeline Prince, Arianna Serpe
Hilton Head Preparatory School – Charlotte Ruhlin, Catherine Sheehan
May River High School  – Jurnee Jones
Whale Branch Early College High School – Thomas Felver

About Heritage Classic Foundation: The Heritage Classic Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives throughout the state of South Carolina. As the general sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, millions of dollars generated from ticket sales and sponsorships are distributed to charitable organizations that enhance the quality of life for our citizens. Since it was founded as a 501 (c)(3) in 1987, the Foundation has donated $35 million to people in need.  For more information, call (843) 671-2448, visit www.heritageclassicfoundation.com or Facebook (Heritage Classic Foundation) and Twitter (@HCFGolf).

Here are some highlights of this year’s Scholars:

Sophia Bursch loves to sing and play the guitar in Beaufort High’s Chorus. She feels that music has the potential to bring compassion and unity to mankind. Giving back to the community is one of the main reasons why she wants to become a medical doctor. She hopes to attend the University of South Carolina.

Thomas Felver spends much of his time on and in the water as a volunteer for the YMCA’s boater safety program and as a lifeguard at the PALS’ Battery Creek Indoor Pool. He is a member of Whale Branch High’s varsity baseball team. He plans on studying medicine and has already been accepted at Clemson University. MALANICK AWARD WINNER

Jurnee Jones is the president of the May River High School’s Student Council. She is also a member of the varsity cheer squad and the National Honor Society. In her free time she tutors middle school students in math and is part of the Hilton Head Island • Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership program. She hopes to study economics and law at Furman University. TARTAN AWARD WINNER 

Akasha Nelson is a member of Beaufort High School’s Interact Club and has participated in many fundraising events in her hometown, including acting as a ghost during the annual Beaufort Ghost Tours. She is the senior class President and is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans on studying psychology at Vanderbilt University. ZIMMERMAN AWARD WINNER

Madeline Prince is active in her church and is a leader of Hilton Head Island High’s JROTC program. She plays varsity golf and lacrosse and is also a member of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. She hopes to study engineering at the United States Naval Academy or The Ohio State University since she was born in Columbus, Ohio.

Charlotte Ruhlin was born in Hong Kong and didn’t move to Hilton Head until the summer before starting 9th grade at Hilton Head Prep. The animal lover is the president of the Zonta Club and is also a student ambassador. She plays varsity tennis and is a graduate of the Hilton Head• Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Program. She plans on studying Mathematics at Boston College.

Arianna Serpe is the team captain for her soccer club and also played on Hilton Head Island High’s varsity soccer team. She fosters golden retrievers until they find forever homes. She is a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers in the nursery at her church. She plans on studying Education at the University of Colorado.

Catherine Sheehan has attended Hilton Head Prep since the first grade. She is a member of the school’s Honor Council and is the captain of the varsity basketball and soccer teams. A graduate of the Hilton Head• Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Program, she is also the Student Body Vice President. She plans to study Engineering at Vanderbilt University.