Madison Area Memorial High School graduate Larz Moody was awarded a $5,000 Folds of Honor scholarship, a national scholarship that assists children of military personnel killed or disabled while serving, becoming the fourth Maine student to receive the scholarship out of nearly 5,500 recipients since 2007.

Moody will be presented the scholarship Wednesday at the 22nd annual Taste of Waterville, a day-long food festival that highlights local cuisine and eateries, shutting down Main Street in Waterville.

Taste of Waterville starts at 11 a.m., when the Bite booths, vendor booths and children’s events open, followed by a slew of local musicians playing up and down Main Street. The beer garden at the Concourse opens at 5 p.m., while happy hour for the elegant dining portion of the Taste begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

More than a score of restaurants and other food purveyors will participate in the event.

As part of the festivities, Moody will be presented with the $5,000 scholarship at about 7 p.m.

A June graduate of Madison High School, Moody, 17, plans to attend Thomas College in the fall, enrolling in the college’s accelerated master’s program to obtain his master’s degree in marketing management in four years.

“My goal is to make it through college with no debt, and this is a good start,” Moody said over the phone Monday. “This is a huge step toward affording college.”

Moody said he was “overjoyed” when he recently found out he was awarded the scholarship, which he applied for in March.

Moody found out about the national scholarship after his grandfather saw information about it on a pamphlet and told him. Moody’s mother, Angela, served in the U.S. Army and currently deals with significant hairline fractures to her shins and knee damage, Moody said. Angela Moody, who is an education technician at Skowhegan Area High School, was discharged when Moody was born.

“It’s hard for her to do a lot of outdoor activities and any sort of prolonged movement,” Moody said, adding that a car his mother was driving was struck by a drunken driver in 2012, breaking her clavicle and a foot. “The accident made it so much harder for her.”

Moody said the dedication that his mother portrayed in the Army and the perseverance she displayed in the ensuing years while dealing with her injuries helped motivate him.

“My mom really encouraged me and was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to college,” Moody said. “She always pushed me in high school, because you only get one shot at it.”

While both his mother and grandfather have backgrounds in the military, Moody never saw that as a path for himself, and was never forced into it by his parents.

“My parents always motivated me and they never tried to force me into any career,” Moody said, adding that his father, Jared, owns and operates the Foody’s lunch wagon in Skowhegan. “They supported me in any career path I wanted to choose.”

Moody is choosing to pursue a master’s degree in marketing management.

“Business has always interested me, and I like the idea of trying to find new ways of selling a product to people,” Moody said. “I want to enjoy my career because there’s no point if you don’t.”

The scholarship is just for one year, but Moody said recipients can reapply for the scholarship on a yearly basis. Tuition at Thomas is roughly $22,000 a year for commuting students, which is what Moody plans to do.

The scholarship was awarded by the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization based out of Owasso, Okla., which has partnered with Valley Distributors in Oakland to award the scholarship to Moody.

In addition to traditional formal and informal eating during the Taste of Waterville, a meatball-eating contest will be part of the event for the first time. The Italian restaurant Amici’s Cucina is preparing some 600 meatballs for the contest, which will benefit the Greater Waterville Food Bank.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @jessescardina

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