published on September 30, 2016 - 9:35 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Big Fresno Fair will kick off its 12-day run Wednesday with its educational initiative, the 4.0 and Above program.

The program, presented by Toyota and EECU and created in partnership with the Fresno County Office of Education, rewards Fresno County students in middle and high school who have obtained a grade point average of 4.0 or higher. These students enter to win prizes, ranging from laptops to iPads, and are also eligible to win scholarships. This year, available scholarships total $81,000. High school students will also be entered in a drawing to win a brand new 2016 Toyota Corolla.

This is the sixth consecutive year that Toyota has given away a new car to one 4.0 or Above high school student.

“Toyota is dedicated to giving back to the communities where we live, work and play—bringing out the best in Fresno,” Marty Mayfohrt, the dealer principal of Madera Toyota, said in a statement. “Our education partnerships help us empower students to learn, achieve and succeed and we’re proud to reward a deserving student from the greater Fresno area with a 2016 Corolla this year.”

All scholarship funds for the annual 4.0 and Above program are donated by local Fresno County businesses, nonprofits and residents. This year’s $81,000 figure is a record for the program, surpassing last year’s total of $57,000.

“It is our privilege and honor to continue to recognize these Fresno County high-achieving students,” John C. Alkire, CEO of the Big Fresno Fair, said in a statement. “This program has grown far beyond my wildest dreams through the support of our community partners and I’m proud to be a part of a community that stands behind something as powerful as education. Hardworking students deserve to know their community is proud of their success and supports each and every one of them in their educational ventures.”

Donors of the 23 high school ($3,000) scholarships and eight junior high ($1,500) scholarships are as follows: Meyers Farms Family Trust, Bob and Brent Smittcamp, Barbara Vartan Family, Belmont Nursery, Butler Amusements, Credit Card Guys, David Nalchajian, Inc., EECU, Fresno Police Officers Association, Mid Valley Disposal, Nalchajian Orthodontics, Robert Vartan Family, DerManouel Insurance Group, PG&E, Philanthropy Inspired by the Needs of our Community (PINC), and Mid Valley Disposal.

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