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Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Giving Back to the Community… more than a T he Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras embodies more than just a two-day, fun-fest for local residents and our Bay Area neighbors. The real reason for all the fungus-eating and fun(gi)-making is giving back to the community. The Mushroom Mardi Gras is a charitable, non-profit organization; every dollar above and beyond the cost of putting on the festival goes towards scholarships to seniors who live within the boundaries of the Morgan Hill Unified School District (MHUSD), mini grants to elementary and middle schools in the MHUSD, and donations to non-profit clubs and organizations that participate in the festival. The Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras began awarding scholarships in 1984. For the past thirty-three years, 1026 students have been awarded scholarships, totaling over $1 million dollars, for continuing education. Any senior living in the Morgan Hill Unified School District, including private schools, Central High School and the Morgan Hill Adult School are eligible to apply for a scholarship to continue their education. This year the seven members of the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Scholarship Committee, headed by Ron Woolf, Board Treasurer, received a total of 260 applications. Scholarship recipients are selected based on a combination of academic performance, community and school service, and need. This year the committee was excited to award fifty (50) scholarships to Live Oak and Sobrato High School seniors, three (3) to Central High School, and one (1) to the Community Adult School totaling $55,000. In addition, two of the scholarship recipients will receive an additional scholarship in honor and memory of the festival’s founding father, the Brad Spencer Memorial Scholarship. These students were 48 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY / AUGUST 2016