Established in 2007, the mission of the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation (LRSF) is to provide academic scholarships to qualified minority students and assist these students in obtaining a college education. The objective of the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation is to invest in the lives of underprivileged students and encourage their education, as well as their personal and professional development. The Foundation's ultimate goal is that these students will be equipped with the tools necessary to make a meaningful contribution to their communities and to society.

The Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation was created to continue the charitable work of singing legend Lou Rawls, regarded by many as one of the greatest entertainers of all time. For nearly three decades, Mr. Rawls dedicated himself to raising scholarship funds for students of color through his involvement with the United Negro College Fund, where he began the “Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon.” This annual event raised over $200 million dollars during his tenure.

In order to preserve the Rawls legacy, the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation seeks to be more personally involved in the selection process, to ensure that the maximum amount of funds raised would be distributed among the greatest number of eligible students. The Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation was created to provide opportunities to talented students of color, specifically, African-American, Hispanic American/Latino, Asian and Native American, for whom access to financial aid for higher education would otherwise be out of reach.

To be considered for a scholarship from the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation, students would be required to meet the following eligibility requirements:

...... 1. Students must have a minimum grade point of average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
...... 2. Students must have a demonstrated financial need, as verified by the college or university financial aid office of the school at which the student intends to matriculate

Generally, the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation is targeting students who have demonstrated a record of academic success and extracurricular achievement, excellent writing skills, and the ability to formulate and communicate ideas clearly and concisely. Other extenuating circumstances, such as candidates who have balanced part-time employment while in school while still maintaining a solid record of achievement, will also be taken into consideration when awarding scholarship funds. Excellent recommendations from academic instructors will also be considered.

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2008 Inaugural Event

The general means by which the Lou Rawls Scholarship Foundation will raise scholarship funds for eligible students will be through various fundraising activities throughout the year, with the primary activity being a large annual fundraising event to be conducted on a scale similar to that of the “Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon” that was hosted by Lou Rawls from 1979 to 2006.

In honor of the fact that Lou Rawls is a Chicago native, raised on the city’s South Side, the Foundation intends to host the inaugural event, projected to take place in the Spring of 2008, at a location to be determined in Chicago, Illinois.

To further commemorate the memory of Lou Rawls, the Foundation would like to begin the scholarship program by distributing funds specifically to talented students of color who are natives of Chicago’s South Side. After this initial distribution, the Foundation will then award scholarship funds to all eligible students around the country.

For the remaining years of the Foundation’s existence, scholarship funds will be raised primarily through various fundraising events throughout the country. These events will feature various guest speakers, celebrity appearances and entertainment. Additional proceeds will be generated through the sales of Lou Rawls' albums and CDs to be released in the future, as well as online donations.

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