MANHATTAN — Seventeen area students were awarded scholarships to Kansas State University totaling $8,500 at the Heartland Catbackers event May 18 in Hays.

The recipients are Blakely Bittel and Samantha Crawford, Ellis; Peyton Kieffer, Aubrey Koenigsman, Elly Lang, Halle Lang, Trae Megaffin, Drew Morley, Erin Muirhead, Karl Rack, Sara Rohleder, Kaitlyn Schaben, Ethan Tschanz, Katie Weisenborn and Collin Werth, Hays; Cole Pierce, La Crosse; and Dustin Schneider, Schoenchen.

The scholarships were awarded by the Heartland Catbackers, the Col. Gayle Foster Endowed Scholarship Fund, the Larry and Kay Weigel Family Scholarship Fund and the K-State Alumni Association.

“We are so pleased to congratulate these outstanding students,” said Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association. “The Alumni Association board of directors is committed to helping prospective students attend K-State, and the alumni club scholarship program is a vital component in assisting those efforts. We greatly appreciate local alumni and friends who have helped make these awards possible through their loyal support.”

The scholarships are for the 2018-19 academic year. The Alumni Association annually awards more than $550,000 in student scholarships with funding provided by local K-State alumni and friends and Alumni Association programming. There are more than 1,700 K-State alumni and friends in the Hays area.