Forty-eight of 156 students graduating from Moffat County High School this Saturday will be awarded scholarships to post secondary institutions.
About $56,000 in scholarships come from local agencies and businesses, said Sandie Johns, senior counselor at Moffat County High School.
"The amount of money local people give to these kids is overwhelming," she said.
Johns said 15 years ago, when she started counseling seniors in Moffat County, there was about $25,000 available in scholarships.
"I don't know how the school can begin to thank these people for what they give," she said.
Next year seven students will attend college on athletic scholarships.
The graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Moffat County High School Gymnasium.
After processional music and the National Anthem played by the MCHS band, seniors Katie Telfer and Laura Duran will give welcome speeches.
Following the speeches, Johns will announce the 48 scholarship recipients and then MCHS Principal Jane Krogman will recognize 18 seniors as honor graduates.
Those recognized as honor graduates have earned a grade point average of 3.74 or higher.
This year the commencement address, normally given by a graduating student, will be delivered by University of Colorado football player Marcus Houston, who was invited because of his involvement in organizations such as the Youth United Way.
Following the commencement address, the chamber choir and senior class will sing "My Wish For You" by John Carter.
Superintendent Pete Bergmann will then present the Class of 2002 to the Moffat County Board of Education, followed by the presentation of diplomas to the 156 graduating seniors.
Johns said 2,500 programs were printed for Saturday's ceremony, but estimated that up to 3,000 people have attended in past years.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. ceremony.
Johns encouraged people to drop off elderly people at the front doors of the high school so they can enter the gymnasium without having to walk down stairs.
The ceremony is expected to last 1 1/2 hours.