The Upper Arlington Optimist Club awarded more than $10,000 in cash and scholarships at its recent Youth Appreciation Banquet.
Exemplary Character Scholarships for $2,000 each were given to Upper Arlington High School seniors Meredith Mimnaugh and Molly O'Connor.
Varsity Basketball Sportsmanship Scholarships for $1,000 each were presented to UAHS seniors Thomas Casey Jones from the boys team and Kileigh Casey from the girls team.
For an essay contest, high school and middle school students wrote essays on the topic, "Can Society Function Without Respect?" Ainsley Young won first place in the high school division and Summer Powell won first place in the middle school division. Each student received a check for $300
For an oratorical contest, high school and middle school students prepared speeches on the topic, "Where Are My Roots of Optimism?" Winners received cash awards. Alana Sayat received $300, Nathan Narcelles received $250, Miriam Silver received $200, and Keiryn McGuff received $100.
Louisa Bolzenius won the Middle School Service Learning Award and the UA Optimist Club awarded $250 to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in her name.
The club presented student members of The Stand Project with a Respect for Law award for a video they produced titled, "Show Me You Love Me," which has received more than 6,000 views.
The club also recognized the work of school resource officer Jon Rice and donated $250 to The Stand Project.
Another $1,000 was donated to Hastings and Jones middle schools to enable financially disadvantaged eighth-graders to attend the annual class trip to Washington, D.C.
In addition, the club donated $750 to underwrite the UAHS Speech and Debate Tournament.
This year marks the 48th year of UA Optimist Basketball, which serves more than 800 UA students in grades K-12.