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Fundraiser will help sustain scholarship

A scholarship that has been available to Duluth high school students since 2005 may become a permanent fixture after this weekend. Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc. is holding a fundraiser today in hopes of securing the future of its scholarsh...

A scholarship that has been available to Duluth high school students since 2005 may become a permanent fixture after this weekend.

Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc. is holding a fundraiser today in hopes of securing the future of its scholarship, which is awarded to students committed to combating social and racial injustice, by creating a permanent endowment fund.

Gail Schoenfeld, co-chair woman of Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc., said the scholarship is a way to help the community remember and continue healing the lynching of three young black men in Duluth in 1920.

"There is still racial injustice in Duluth and across the country; it is important that we as a community continue to work on making Duluth a more inclusive community for everyone," she said. "This scholarship is a part of that effort."

Several thousand dollars already have been raised through donations, but the pool needs to grow to at least $15,000 to $20,000 before it can be turned into a permanent endowment fund, said Julia Cheng, the treasurer for Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc.

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"We're hopeful we can get there," Cheng said.

If enough money is raised, the $1,000 scholarship, awarded to one student, will become an annual fixture.

Theodora Ranelli, a past recipient of the scholarship, said in an e-mail that the award affirmed the community's devotion to an important cause.

"It meant that I was able to see that people in the community cared about the anti-racism and social justice work I was doing," Ranelli said.

Tickets to Saturday's fundraiser are sold out, but anyone interested in contributing to the fund can mail a donation to CJMM Inc., P.O. Box 3631, Duluth, MN 55803.

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