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From Home Furnishing Business

AHFA, Solution Partners Increase Annual Scholarships to 12

The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has increased the number of annual scholarships awarded to the children of industry workers by its Solutions Partners division.

This year the number of $2,500 awards was increased from eight to 10; next year the group will begin awarding 12 scholarships annually. The 2019 scholarship recipients will be announced later this month.

Last year the group also raised the amount of each award from $2,000 to $2,500. Eight of the scholarships will continue to be awarded based on financial need and academic merit. The remaining four will be awarded based on academic merit alone.

“The scholarship selection committee was overwhelmed by the number of qualified candidates it reviewed this year,” said Barrett Plasman, chairman, Solution Partners. “The committee recommended increasing the merit-based awards to four to help even more students reach their academic goals.”

With the additional two scholarships approved this week by the division’s board of directors, the total value of the annual scholarships is now $30,000.

The Solution Partners Scholarship Program is among the educational initiatives supported by the group’s Annual Education Golf Tournament, slated this year for September 18 at Lake Hickory Country Club in Hickory, N.C. Sponsorship information is at

“The tournament receives widespread and enthusiastic support from our Solution Partners members, and we are thrilled that this has enabled the scholarship program to grow,” said Mary O’Keeffe, executive director, Solutions Partners. “It remains the only scholarship program in the home furnishings industry that specifically supports our workers by helping them fund a college education for their children.”

Eligible applicants are students age 21 or younger who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a four-year college or university, a community college or a technical school. Applicants must have a parent working full-time at an AHFA member company. Students may reapply for the scholarship each year they are in school, provided a parent remains employed full-time at an AHFA member company.

Since the program began in 1990, nearly 100 scholarships have been awarded, and 44 different AHFA member companies in 18 states have had scholarship recipients.

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