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Life Care Center Hixson chooses first Junior Volunteer Scholarship recipient

Cars have always been a big part of Alex Lamontagne’s life, and now they’ve helped him win $1,000.

The Ridgeland High School graduate is the first-ever recipient of the new Callaway-Life Care Center of Hixson Junior Volunteer Scholarship. The scholarship is granted to a young person headed for college who has volunteered at Life Care Center of Hixson.

And Lamontagne’s contribution is cars. He’s putting together a large car show for the residents of the center that’s slated for Oct. 4.

“Cars have always played a big role in my life so I thought, ‘Why not share that with residents?’” said Lamontagne, whose father works at the facility. “I’m hoping to get somewhere between 40 or 50 cars. It will have everything from street cars to classic rods. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of everything.”

He added that he hopes to give the residents a chance to reminisce about the good ole days, to give them connections to their past.

Lamontagne works at AutoZone, which has helped him connect with lots of classic-car owners. He’s also spent time reaching out to local car clubs asking them to come to the show.

All five applicants for the scholarship were so impressive that the Life Care Center committee couldn’t choose just one, said the center’s Activities Director Mae Petty. They were judged on several different things including amount of volunteer hours, school grades and more.

So Petty enlisted the help of the Hixson Fire Department to choose a winner.

“Every single one of them were so awesome, how they went outside the box,” Petty said of the applicants. “It was more than we were looking for. It turned out to be so close on every single one of them.”

Even the firefighters found themselves at a standstill, wanting to choose more than one candidate to receive the scholarship money, she said.

But in the end Lamontagne’s car show prevailed. The 18-year-old said he plans to use the scholarship money toward attending Dalton State for two years and then Georgia Tech for three years to become a mechanical engineer. His goal is to work for an automotive engineering firm like Ford or BMW.