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Scholarship available

Washington Lodge #3, Free & Accepted Masons of Williston recently announced its 2015 Academic Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is open to all Champlain Valley Union High School seniors with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Private school or home-schooled seniors are also eligible, provided they reside in Charlotte, Hinesburg, St. George, Shelburne or Williston. Relatives of Washington #3 Lodge members are eligible. The scholarship recipient must be accepted to an accredited institution of higher learning such as a four-year university, a four-year college, a technical college, a two-year junior college or an accredited trade school. The recipient will be selected by the Washington Lodge Scholarship Committee on the basis of financial need, scholastic record and an essay. The deadline for application is April 16. Applications may be downloaded at

tax credit option

One in five Vermonters misses out on thousands of dollars in savings and added benefits because they are unaware of the Earned Income Tax Credit or its link to 3SquaresVT, also known as food stamps, according to Hunger Free Vermont. Vermonters who made under $52,427 in 2014 may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), designed to boost the income of working families and worth up to $6,143 as a tax credit or refund. Income guidelines are based on tax filing status and number of dependent children in the home. Families with dependent children who receive the Vermont EITC are automatically income eligible for 3SquaresVT food benefits. With the connection to 3SquaresVT, families not only save money on their taxes, but also put more nutritious food on the table. The amount of food money a family gets each month also depends on expenses, with the average monthly 3SquaresVT benefit now over $200. Children who get 3SquaresVT also qualify for free school meals. Dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Vermont for information about free tax help services. Vermonters can make an appointment with a certified tax preparer who will help you claim EITC if you qualify. For more information about the connection to 3SquaresVT and school meals, also dial 2-1-1 or go to %MCEPASTEBIN%