There’s a silver lining in everything, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Hotel Pattee owner Tom Maxwell said.

“I think every issue, no matter how bad, there’s going to be some positive that comes out of it,” he said.

The positive in this case includes the Maxwells giving back to the 2020 Perry High School seniors through a new scholarship program.

Maxwell has observed seniors not getting to play their final season of a sport, have their final band competition or even finish up their senior year.

He called Jenny Eklund, with the Hotel Pattee, and said he and his wife, Vickie, wanted to give back to the Perry community.

“I know my wife Vickie’s focus is anything for kids is always a good thing. If you could figure out a program that helps kids or families then we’re interested in learning more about it,” Maxwell said.

He heard back from Eklund only a few hours after his call with the idea of creating a scholarship program for the 2020 Perry High School seniors.

The Hotel Pattee 2020 Scholarship has been created by Tom and Vickie Maxwell. Twenty $1,000 scholarships will be handed out to 20 Perry High School seniors set to graduate in 2020.

Current PHS seniors will be asked to fill out a short application. Part of the application will ask where they plan to attend college or a trade school and to prove they are enrolled in the fall.

Maxwell said a committee will review the applications. The committee will look at the students’ extracurricular activities, though he said the main questions will be what would they use the funds for and if they were in a position to give back, how would they do so.

He added that they are planning to hold a reception at the hotel for the 20 scholarship recipients and their parents. Exactly when the reception will be is still being determined, but Maxwell said they want to recognize the scholarship winners with a ceremony and a guest speaker.

He encourages PHS seniors to apply for the scholarships. The $1,000 can be used for a number of needs, he said, including a new computer to help with distance learning, tuition, books and more.

“We just wanted to help out in any way we can,” Maxwell said.

He added that if the program is successful, there is the possibility to expand it with 21 scholarships in 2021 or 22 scholarships in 2022.

“Vickie and I care a lot about this area and why can’t we help out. This is just our small way of doing that,” Maxwell said.

The scholarship applications can be downloaded on the Hotel Pattee website. Applications are due by July 1 and must be returned to the Hotel Pattee as a paper copy.

For more information, call Eklund at 515-465-3511 or email