Saturday’s Oxford Wine & Craft Beer Festival drew the expected crowds and raised enough money to fund four $1,000 scholarships for Talawanda High School students, said Kellie Riggs, president of the Oxford Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event.
The four students receiving the scholarships are Josephine Conatser, Skylar Chamberlin, Ashley Teeters, and Chloe Vaughn.
Chamberlin will be attending Miami Hamilton, a regional campus of Miami University; Conatser will be attending Cincinnati State’s Middletown campus; Teeters will be attending Indiana University East, in Richmond, Indiana; and Vaughn will be attending Cedarville University, a Christian University located in Cedarville, Ohio.
According to Talawanda High School Counselor Scott Davie, Chamberlin, Teeters, and Vaughn will be studying nursing and Conatser will be studying radiology. Vaughn also will be playing softball at Cedarville.
Chamberlain said she decided to go into nursing because of the care she received after being injured in a serious car accident during her freshman year in high school. The nurses helped her relearn how to walk, talk and eat, she said, and she wants “to do that for someone else.”
She said she opted for the program at Miami Hamilton, because, “I didn’t want to move that far away from home.”
The scholarship winners were chosen from applicants by a Chamber-led committee that considered the students grade point averages, the programs and the schools they wished to attend, Riggs said.
The scholarship program is specifically geared for students planning to go into junior college, trade schools, regional campuses or other non-four -year programs. Talawanda has students who need such help and it is hoped that the students will bring what they have learned back to Oxford to help enrich the community after they finish their educations, Riggs said.
Organizers have said they hoped to attract at least 2,000 people to the Wine & Craft Beer Festival. This year’s crowd seemed to be the biggest in the 12-year run of the event, Riggs said.
“This was the biggest crowd we’ve had and then some,” she said.
Many local businesses and organizations helped sponsor the event and hosted booths, including Books & Brews, Oxford LaRosa’s, McCullough Hyde Hospital and Oxford Mini University. These businesses did well at the festival, Riggs said.
The festival is one of the biggest events put on by the Chamber each year, and is designed to help generate local business at a time when most of Oxford’s usual retail customers, Miami college students, are gone for the summer.