The Washington Apple Education Foundation handed out nearly half a million dollars in scholarships recently.

Award luncheons, July 30 and Aug. 1 in Wenatchee and Yakima, drew more than 500 students, parents, donors and other guests, according to a news release from the foundation. Two previous scholarship recipients spoke to attendees about how the funds helped support their college education.

The roughly $475,000 in scholarships distributed at the luncheons was raised through donations and sponsorships by the tree fruit industry, with other awards given in honor of previous industry leaders, according to the release.

The events, sponsored in part by Northwest Farm Credit Services, also raised more than $35,000 for scholarships. Eight other companies sponsored the luncheons, including produce industry members:

  • Allan Brothers Inc., Naches;
  • AgroFresh, Spring House, Pa.;
  • Bayer CropScience, Monheim, Germany;
  • Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee;
  • Washington Fruit & Produce, Yakima;
  • Tree Top, Selah;

Grower-shippers were among 29 companies that sponsored individual tables:

  • Apple King, Yakima;
  • Blue Bird, Peshastin;
  • Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan;
  • Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Chelan;
  • CPC International, Tieton;
  • Crane & Crane, Brewster;
  • Gebbers Farms, Brewster;
  • Gilbert Orchards, Yakima;
  • Kershaw Cos., Yakima;
  • Matson Fruit Co., Selah;
  • McDougall & Sons, Wenatchee;
  • Oneonta Trading Co., Wenatchee;
  • Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee; and,
  • Van Doren Sales, Wenatchee.