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Fifth Third Bank & Broadcast Legend Merri Dee Give $5300 Scholarship To Local Student

Above, Andrew Hayes from Fifth Third Bank and Merri Dee, Broadcast Legend flank scholarship recipient Teanna Thomas

Above, Andrew Hayes from Fifth Third Bank and Merri Dee, Broadcast Legend flank scholarship recipient Teanna Thomas

Merri Dee, a legendary Chicago broadcaster, fundraiser, and motivational speaker, surprised a local high school senior with a $5300 scholarship.

After delivering the keynote address at the annual commencement ceremony of The Young Women's Leadership Charter School of Chicago, Dee surprised Teanna Thomas with the "Merri Dee Scholarship." Thomas has been an exceptional student and very involved in her community. She plans on going to St. Agnes College in the fall to study pharmacology.

"I am so happy to receive this," Thomas exclaimed. "I had been so worried because I have a five thousand dollar shortfall for my tuition and this scholarship will make it possible for me to attend college in the fall."

The scholarship for $5300 was provided by Fifth Third Bank (Chicago). The bank honored Dee earlier this year in concert with its annual Black History Month salute and worked with the broadcast legend over the past several months to select a deserving student to receive it.

"I am so grateful to Fifth Third Bank for their honor and this scholarship," Dee explained. "I couldn't be happier about the student we've selected," Dee added, saying, "it was a real pleasure to surprise her and her parents today after the graduation ceremony. Teanna has been actively involved in student government and is a big proponent of volunteering in her community."

Merri Dee was recently appointed through the Pentagon as an official U.S. Army Ambassador, has been appointed to the Mayor's Council on Women's issues, is State President of AARP's 1.8 million members and serves on the Serve Illinois Commission. For her 38 years with Chicago's WGN-TV, she was inducted into the NABJ National Journalism Hall of Fame and honored by the National Women In Film. Her broadcast experience ranges from newscaster, talk-show host, staff announcer and editorial spokesperson to director of community relations, host of countless parades, telethons and television specials. Her fundraising expertise resulted in raising more than $31 million for WGN-TV's Children's Charities. Dee is a nationally recognized motivational and keynote speaker, panelist, moderator and fundraising strategist.

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