Six Mile Lions Club awards scholarship

Pictured, from left, are Lion Wesley Witcher, fireman Dalton Nations, Lion George Kessler and Six Mile fire chief Michael Barrett.

SIX MILE — The Six Mile Lions Club has established an annual scholarship that will go to a member of the Six Mile Fire Department or the child of a Six Mile firefighter.

The funds will provide support for advancing academic, technical or professional skills and/or qualifications through recognized degree, certification or training programs.

The club announced recently that Six Mile firefighter Dalton Nations received the 2014 Six Mile Lions Club Wesley Witcher Fireman’s Scholarship.

The scholarship is named after Dr. Wesley Witcher, in honor of his many years of volunteer service to the Six Mile Rural Fire Board and to his many years of community service while a member of the Clemson Lions Club and later, after moving to Six Mile, as a member of the Six Mile Lions Club.

“I am honored and greatly appreciate having my name on the Lions Fire Department scholarship, because I think the scholarship will help provide needed funds for added educational opportunities to our firemen, and this should make them more efficient,” Witcher told the group.

Nations, who said he “has a passion for the rescue side of firefighting,” will use the scholarship for an advanced technical rope rescue class. He has completed all the rope rescue training offered by the South Carolina Fire Academy.

“This scholarship will allow me to further my education as a rescue technician with a world-renowned company that teaches rescue techniques around the world,” he said.

Each scholarship will provide up to $1,000 per fiscal year, consisting of $500 from the Six Mile Lions Club and complementing funds from other sources, such as donations or special fundraising. The additional support for this year came from five Lion families. With additional community support, the scholarship program could grow and allow awarding more than one scholarship, officials said.

“This scholarship is the result of a year’s effort between the fire department and the Lions Club,” Six Mile Lions Club president George Kessler said. “It is one small way we can recognize our firemen for their service to our community.”

Fire chief Michael Barrett and assistant chief Jeremy Holder were part of the scholarship review team.

“We really appreciate the Lions Club for taking the time to put together a scholarship program for our department,” Barrett said. “This will bring training options and continuing education for our firefighters that may have otherwise been hard to receive. Members of our community that need our service will be better served with the help of this program.”

Holder agreed.

“I’d like to thank the Lions Club for their time and efforts in starting the firefighter scholarship program,” he said. “This is an amazing program that will help further the tact and tactical knowledge of all the firemen who participate in this program, which will in turn help the fire department better serve our community.”

Each year, applications will be accepted until March 30 on the official application form provided by the Six Mile Lions Club. The award will be announced by May 1. Applications will be reviewed, and awardees will be selected by a committee consisting of two designated members from the Six Mile Lions Club and two officers from the Six Mile Fire Department. One of the Lions Club members will serve as chair of the selection committee.

Anyone interested in working with or joining the Lions Club can contact Kessler at 868-9487 or Roy Young at 868-0367.