Funds from golf tournament help support Telluride High School graduates, who received $25,250 in College Scholarships this year. Sign up now!

Thanks to the Strokes of Genius (formerly Benchmark) Fund, managed by the Telluride Foundation, college tuition became a bit more affordable for eight graduates of the Class of 2012. Now in its 19th year, the Strokes of Genius Scholarship is a proud Telluride tradition, the largest and longest running local scholarship program available to seniors, enabling Telluride students with financial need, academic merit, community involvement, and exceptional character to pursue higher education.

Recipients include: Mallory Bosse ($5,000), attending University of Northern Colorado; Sarah Israel ($5,000), attending CU Boulder; Nathan McClun ($5,000), attending Ex’pression College for Digital Arts; Shelby Blueher ($2,500), attending Chapman University; Riggs Franklin ($2,500), attending CU Boulder; Evan MacMillan ($2,500), attending Eckerd College; Corrine Semonick ($2,500), attending Kapl’olani Community College; and Grace Chapot ($250), attending Eastern New Mexico University.

“There were many talented and bright individuals amongst this group of graduates,” said Lars Carlson, Strokes of Genius Scholarship Committee member. “They are a great reflection of the community, and we are excited to support them as they start the next chapter in their lives. This year the committee focused on financial need and the student’s past and future contribution to the cost of school.”

The Scholarship Committee was comprised of Carlson and Kevin Holbrook, from the Strokes of Genius; Mike Conran, principal, Telluride High School; Sara Kimble, THS faculty member; April Montgomery and Katie Singer of the Telluride Foundation.

The committee’s selections were based on the following criteria: applications, essays and personal interviews. Scholarships were awarded to those who performed well academically, exuded leadership skills, displayed a commitment to community service, and showed exceptional character. Input from teachers, and financial need were also major determining factors.

The Strokes of Genius Fund was originally established as the Benchmark Fund by the Benchmark Partners, a generous group of individuals – Ron & Joyce Allred, Forrest & Maria Faulconer, Nancy and Tom McNamara, Ock & Joanie Peterson and Jim & Sheila Wells –  who identified the need for a college scholarship fund for Telluride High School students.

Proceeds from the Strokes of Genius Golf Tournament, held each July, fuel the scholarship fund, now managed by the Telluride Foundation.

Since its inception, Strokes of Genius has distributed nearly $250,000 to fund partial college scholarships for 69 Telluride High School graduates.

So, attention golfers. Now is your chance to take a swing for a great cause and provide college scholarships for Telluride High School graduates. This year’s reformatted Strokes of Genius tournament is scheduled for Friday July 27 – Saturday, 28 at the Telluride Golf Club. The tournament includes dinner in a private home, events such as a Calcutta and awards luncheon. There are a few spots left, so come out and play for the kids!
Register at or call Katie at 728-8717.

About the Telluride Foundation: 
The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, The Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region.

For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit


Click the “play” button and listen to what Kevin Holbrook has to add.

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