For the last 72 years, the Bexley Women's Club has awarded scholarships to high school and college students to help them further their education. Now, the organization plans to help even more.

For the last 72 years, the Bexley Women's Club has awarded scholarships to high school and college students to help them further their education.

Now, the organization plans to help even more.

Based on the success of its first Bexley House and Garden Tour last summer, the club is doubling the amount of its scholarship award from $500 to $1,000.

"We said the reason we did (the tour) was for raising money, and we wanted to be able to show that," said Ann Russell, a tour committee member and chair of the club's scholarship committee.

More than 900 people participated in the inaugural house and garden tour and about 300 attended its gala event last June at the Governor's Residence. The event raised $60,000 for the club's scholarship fund, organizers announced after the tour.

The club offers about 25 scholarships each year to high school seniors and college students.

The high schoolers must live in Bexley, but college students from outside of Bexley are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

The deadline for applications for the 2009-10 academic year is March 31. Application forms may be downloaded from the Bexley Women's Club Web site at www.bexleywomen.org/?q=scholarships.

Russell said that over the last 72 years, the club has awarded nearly 700 students scholarships totaling more than $300,000.

Club members hope to help even more in the years to come.

"We are doing another house and garden show June 14, and we will be doing the gala on Saturday, June 13," Russell said. "We are still working on the place to have it."

She said the theme for the 2009 show is "Restore, Renovate and Renew."

"We are going to be doing houses that have been remodeled or restored," Russell said. "We want to highlight those houses. I think they will give people ideas."

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com