Dollars for Scholars Draw Big Crowds
PHAN RANG -- A large crowd of American servicemen gathered at the "Happy Valley Drive-in" here recently to watch local Vietnamese school children performing in a benefit variety show.
The show was sponsored by the 35th Combat Support Group's civic action office, and the children were here to show their appreciation to the men of this base for past support of the local scholarship programs.
The program was highlighted by three youngsters who sang songs about the people and customs of their country. Native dances and a comedy skit about a doctor's assistant operating on a corrupt official were also presented. For the finale, the entire cast sang "Quoc Ca," the National Anthem of the Republic of Vietnam.
The performers were school students and members of the Vietnamese Rural Development Youth Clubs in Ninh Thuan Province. These clubs are similar to a combination of 4H, scouting, and the Big Brother programs.
During 1969, base personnel in 22 squadrons sponsored 238 students on scholarships, and the unofficial goal for 1970 is at least 500.
The scholarship programs aid deserving students in completing their education by paying for clothes, food, tuition and books.
First Lt. Michael J. Selby, base civic action officer, commented, "These scholarships are based on need and academic ability. The students are selected by the province education chief, the individual school principals and a representative from the base civic action office.
"These students are usually the children of disabled veterans or men who have lost their lives in the war. During the 1970-71 school year we are arranging for the student and sponsor to meet each other, emphasizing a closer people-to-people relationship."