VAN WERT – Van Wert Service Club has initiated its annual search for area youths who best exemplify self-reliance. A presentation video and informational materials were provided to Van Wert, Lincolnview, Crestview and Vantage Career Center in support of the program.

The R.K. Thompson Self-Reliance Award is designed to provide recognition and cash awards for high school seniors who "do the best with what they have." First place boy and girl winners will receive $1,000 each and the eight finalists will receive $500 each.

This is the 51st year for the award, which is sponsored by the Thompson Family Trust through The Van Wert County Foundation in honor of the late R.K. Thompson Sr. The late Mr. Thompson worked closely with young people and encouraged them to set high, but attainable goals and then apply themselves to obtain these goals. This has been the guiding philosophy of the award.

Thompson's son, Roger K. Thompson Jr., former head of Kennedy Manufacturing Company, established the program.

According to Breanne Sudduth and Anthony Adams, co-chairs of the Van Wert Service Club committee that administers the award, applications are due back to high school guidance counselors or principals by Thursday, March 11.

All seniors from Van Wert, Crestview, Lincolnview and Vantage Career Center (whose home schools are Van Wert, Lincolnview or Crestview) are urged to complete an application for judging by the awards committee.