BULLHEAD CITY — The River Cruizers Car Club has a long tradition of helping deserving graduating seniors in the Tri-state further their education by awarding scholarships.

By combining their love of cars and their community, club members host two main car shows each year — “Roddin’ On the River” and “Hot Rods and Harleys” — with the goal of raising funds for scholarships.

To that end, the club has donated more than $600,000 to the community ever since it began many years ago. A club priority has always been to give back as much as it can. 

Even though the April “Hot Rods and Harleys” show was postponed this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club continues to do what it always has done.

“The River Cruizers are proud to present scholarships to 10 outstanding students,” said Danny Moran, River Cruizer president. “We look forward to watching their success in their chosen fields. We know they will go on to do great things.”

The Donations & Scholarship Committee takes on the difficult task of selecting 10 high school seniors they wish to receive scholarships.  This year, 21 applicants were narrowed down to the 10. Criteria includes students have a 3.0 GPA or better; communicate their goals for where they will attend college and their ultimate goal; are actively involved in their school; are highly involved with volunteering in the community; and present a financial need.

Completing paperwork, which included an application, a transcript of grades  and two letters of recommendation, was due to the committee April 1 — a daunting challenge for students to assemble due to the coronavirus shutting down schools and businesses.

“The process of selection was brutal because all the students were stellar,” said Janis Young, scholarship chairperson. “This community is fortunate, producing many well-qualified seniors, each in their own right, who project a bright future.”

Each student will receive $1,200.  Funds are deposited by the club treasurer to the college of their choice after July 1. The students are invited to a River Cruizer meeting to accept certificates of their awards and meet the members who work so hard on the car shows.

“The River Cruizers are excited to see the scholarship recipients and to hear about their goals,” Young added. “It’s good motivation for planning the next car shows.”

Scholarship recipients include: 

  • Anna Kuzminsky, Mohave High School, plans to major in psychology at Arizona State University.  Her leadership skills stood out with the committee. “She is mature, and is able to make decisions on her own, and does not need reminding or redirection during her community service for the Bullhead City Farmer’s Market,” the committee noted.
  • Michael Martin, Mohave Accelerated Learning Center, plans to pursue a bachelor’s in biology and then possibly go into veterinary medicine. He stood out with his ability to understand difficult concepts and has the knack for re-teaching his peers. He is a member of the National Honor Society.
  • Gabriel Belt’s goal is to attend the University of Notre Dame to become a football coach.  The Needles High School senior and co-valedictorian is active in the community working as a life guard, achieved the Eagle Boy Scout award, and is a member of the River Cruizers.
  • Audrey Gee, Mohave Accelerated Learning Center, will attend Southern Utah University to pursue a degree in journalism. This dedicated student balances school, several clubs and concurrent enrollment in junior college. 
  • Max Jiron’s plans are to obtain associate’s degree from a community college in photography and film, and then transfer to University of Las Vegas to attain a bachelor’s in media broadcasting.  The Laughlin High School student’s volunteer work includes the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River and Valley View Medical Center.
  • Phillip Cochran’s goal is to attend Northwest Lineman College to be a contributing member of his community.  The committee was impressed by the Needles High School senior’s attributes of being hardworking and organized, plus a problem solver. He sets an example of a person who has overcome many disabling factors to achieve highly in all areas of his life.
  • Ally Pletcher, Needles High School, will attend Grand Canyon University to major in business management and minor in marketing. Pletcher is a role model — she coaches, works, served as ASB president and succeeds highly in school. 
  • Riley Breaux’s ultimate goal is to attend Loma Linda Medical School to be an ER nurse/flight nurse. The Needles High School senior’s communication skills allow her to be a leader inside and outside of school. She volunteers on the weekends as a caregiver for elderly Alzheimer patients.
  • Lucas McCann, Needles High School, plans to attend Feather River College for two years to study environmental science, then transfer to Humboldt State University to attain a bachelor’s in forestry. McCann’s leadership skills were demonstrated through his Eagle Boy Scout project to protect the public from abandoned mines, because they pose a safety hazard. 
  • Lauren Hartter, Needles High School co-valedictorian, plans to attend Southern Utah University to major in mathematics. In the face of family adversity, Hartter works, participates in all aspects of high school, takes community college classes and demonstrates a strong work ethic in everything she does. 

“Spring is an exciting part of a senior year at the high school level, and the River Cruizers feel fortunate we are able to be a part of the encouragement to the next step in these young people’s lives,” Moran said. “The River Cruizers congratulate all graduates from Mohave High, River Valley High, Needles High, Mohave Accelerated Learning and Laughlin High.”

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