The Canal Winchester Alumni Scholarship Association is preparing for its largest annual fundraiser, the Labor Day 5K Fun Run and Walk, held as part of Canal Winchester's Labor Day Festival.

The Canal Winchester Alumni Scholarship Association is preparing for its largest annual fundraiser, the Labor Day 5K Fun Run and Walk, held as part of Canal Winchester's Labor Day Festival.

This year's run will start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the old high school, 100 Washington St.

"The number of $1,000 scholarships we can provide varies based on the amount of money we have available," CWASA spokesman Tom DeLong said. "We reserve 20 percent for college freshmen going into their sophomore year, but we haven't had anyone apply for one of those scholarships yet."

So far, he said, the organization has provided $14,000 worth of college scholarships to graduating seniors and hopes to increase those numbers this year.

In 2011, the first round of scholarships was awarded to six Canal Winchester seniors; in 2012, that number expanded to 8.

"Our first year, we had 26 applications and this past year, there were only 20," Delong said. "We're looking not necessarily for the kid with the best GPA. We want to see well-rounded kids, kids that we know they'll make good use of the funds."

Applications for scholarships are available through the high school guidance office in February each year and are due back in April. According to Delong, the evaluation process is done anonymously to remove any chance of bias.

Labor Day weekend is important for the organization not just for fundraising, but also for raising awareness about the scholarships, he said.

"We have an information booth at the Labor Day Festival and each year, we raffle off about six to 12 items which just keep getting better and better," Delong said. "We'll have door prizes at the race, too."

Canal Winchester City Councilman John Bender said a Labor Day alumni get-together is planned for 5:45 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2, at the high school cafetorium, 300 W. Washington St.

"We'll have a short program, including the superintendent and principal, as well as Tom (Delong) to tell us more about the scholarship program," Bender said. "This will be our third year and we hope it keeps growing. Last year, we had about 75 people."

The alumni gathering is free and open to all Canal Winchester graduates. Bender said refreshments will be served, the high school steel drum band will play and tours will be given of the new and old high school facilities.

"We're very proud of our high school and the people that work there and the accomplishments of our kids, so we hope even more people come back to see this," Bender said. "They'll also get to see our new tennis courts."

More information about donating to the CWASA or participating in the fun run and walk is available at the group's Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/338512668572/.

Information about the Labor Day alumni get-together is available from Bender at 614-833-4230.