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KNOXVILLE–The Alcoa Way Optimist Club of South Knoxville has created a scholarship endowment fund at the University of Tennessee with a gift of $35,000.

Don Freeman, club president, said income from the endowment will provide scholarships to students in South Knoxville. Need, academic achievement and participation in sports will be used to determine recipients of the one-year grants, he said.

The scholarships usually will go to graduates of South Doyle High School, Freeman said, but other students from the area attending private or public high schools also are eligible.

“We want to continue to help young people and helping them get started in college is one way to do that,” he said.

The Alcoa Way Optimist Club, named for the South Knoxville communities along lcoa Highway which it serves, has supported youth sports in the area since its iception in 1966. Freeman said the club plans to make additional contributions to the endowment fund.