ASHE COUNTY — The Badger family’s history runs deep in Ashe County, and now a new scholarship bearing their name will benefit the county’s graduating seniors.

The Badger Family Scholarship Endowment was the idea of Michael Badger, owner and operator of The People’s Drug in West Jefferson until his retirement in 2012. A devoted fan of High School athletics, Badger can often be found cheering on the Huskies at local sporting events. Badger stated that he — along with the help of the NC Community Foundation — created the Badger Family Scholarship Endowment as a means of giving back to the community which has helped make him who he is today.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have done well with my businesses. I’m really proud of Ashe County and I’m really proud of all the kids who go to school there,” Badger said. “I just felt that this was one way to repay Ashe County for being so good to our family. “

Through the years, members of the Badger family have taken on careers as teachers, nurses, realtors, medical doctors, machinists, paralegals, pharmacist, dental hygienists, nutritionists, morticians and in the auto industry. In the past, the Badgers have also donated land to build the county’s first hospital, as well as owned-assisted living facilities for older adults.

According to Badger, this scholarship will be available to all Ashe County graduates, regardless on whether they choose to attend a four-year degree, or two-year institution following high school.

“I just wanted to support the county by giving these kids an opportunity to further their education whether it be a two-year college or community college, or a four year,” Badger said. “I want the kids that we choose to give the scholarships to to certainly be well rounded kids, be respected in the county and be respected in their community.”

Looking toward the future, it is the hope of Badger that his extended family continues this scholarship for the years to come.

“Hopefully, our family, the Badger family as a whole, will contribute to this scholarship and let it be an ongoing scholarship for years and years to come,” Badger said.

For more information regarding the North CarolinaCommunity Foundation and the Badger Family Scholarship Endowment visit www.nccommunityfoundation.org/. Students interested in the scholarship should speak with their school guidance councilor.

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