The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties awarded the Mike Munchak Community Service Scholarship to a 2021 graduate of West Scranton High School.

The scholarship award was officially presented as part of the 25th Annual Mike Munchak Charity Golf Classic to benefit the United Way held at the Country Club of Scranton. Over $1 million has been raised during the 25 years of this golf outing and remains to be the premier golf outing in NEPA.

“For the past 25 years, it has been our honor to welcome Mike home to Scranton, and we remain grateful to him for his unwavering commitment to the people of our community,” said Gary Drapek, president and CEO of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

The United Way established the Mike Munchak Community Service Scholarship to assist high school students from Lackawanna and Wayne counties, who plan to continue their education in an accredited university, college or trade school in a two or four-year degree program. The amount of the scholarship is $6,300 in honor of Mike’s No. 63, retired by the Houston Oilers in 1994.

Completing the scholarship’s 10th year of the of existence, a total amount of $63,000 in scholarship funds have been distributed to local graduates.

To be eligible, candidates must be participants in partner agency programs funded by United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne counties, have a demonstrated commitment through community service activities and be full-time residents and/or students of a school district within Lackawanna or Wayne counties. Additional requirements include a demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, agency recommendation and a track record of community service.

“Education is one of our pillars here at the United Way. This scholarship is a prime example of how important a good education along with strong community involvement is in helping ensure Lackawanna and Wayne counties continue to Live United,” added Drapek.

The 2021 scholarship recipient is Molly Dougherty, a West Scranton High School graduate. She serves as president of the West Scranton High School Red Cross Club, where she has directed the club activities and various drives for several years.

Additionally, Dougherty is an active member with numerous organizations in her community including St. Joseph’s Center, Friends of the Poor, Mathew’s Mission, Knights of Columbus, Cinderella’s Closet, and many others. She is a member of the National Honor Society, student liaison of the senior class, Miss Invader, Varsity Cross Country Captain, president of the drama, Spanish and chorus Clubs, editor of the West Side Story, graduate of the Leadership Lackawanna’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program as well as an array of clubs and activities. The Scholarship Committee noted Molly’s superior GPA as well as the leadership qualities she exhibited throughout her time at West ScrantonThis fall, Dougherty will attend Emerson College where she will begin her education in journalism.

“In her application essay, Molly said through her volunteer work, she has learned to solve problems with logic and patience, to actively listen to the concerns of others and give back,” Drapek said. “This statement sums up the goal of this scholarship and the type of student ideals we strive to encourage throughout our community — ideals that Molly and Mike both share here in NEPA.”

The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties recently celebrated

their 100th year of existence here in Northeast Pennsylvania.

One hundred years ago, a group a philanthropists decided to pull their resources together for the good of the community. After that first meeting June 17th, 1921, that generous group of leaders have passed along their humanitarian principles generation after generation.

Funding essential programs throughout Lackawanna and Wayne Counties as well as running our own community outreach programs has led us to 100 successful years in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Continuously evolving each and every year has been the key to our success. Like the mindset of a Hall-of-Fame athlete, we set a goal every year and do everything in our power to achieve that goal, just like our homegrown football legend himself, Mike Munchak,” Drapek said.