Helena, MONTANA, May 16, 2018
BuzzBallz/Southern Champion, LLC, and CEO Merrilee Kick awarded four of Montana’s top-ranked high school science students with their annual Science Innovator Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate curiosity, a strong work ethic, and outstanding skills in leadership, teamwork, and communication.
Capital High’s winners for 2018 were Hannah Dreesbach (1st Place, $1,500) and Elliott Pryor (2nd Place, $1,000).
Helena High’s winners were Mariah Thompson (1st Place, $1,500) and Nathan Kynett (2nd Place, $1,000). The scholarship honors 2012 Montana Teacher of the Year Tom Pedersen of Capital High who has dedicated his career to innovative science instruction.
The scholarship was created to honor Kick’s parents, Gil and Marilyn Alexander, both retired science teachers from Capital and Helena High Schools and founders of the Montana Learning Center. Merrilee Kick, a 1981 graduate of Capital High, cited her own interest and reliance on science as a beverage company CEO and personally congratulated the winners, writing,
“You can be what you want to be, and with focus and determination, you will continue to make the environment and the world a better place.”
The Montana Learning Center, located in Helena, provides professional development resources for Montana teachers and student enrichment programs all year round as well as an annual STEAM summer camp for grades 1-12.
About BuzzBallz/Southern Champion:
BuzzBallz began in 2009, by the edge of a backyard pool in between a pile of papers to be graded and, of course, a cocktail. Merrilee Kick was a high school teacher working on her master’s degree when she realized she was on to something big. The poolside drink sparked an idea that would revolutionize American cocktail culture and shake up the liquor industry in more ways than one.
Fast forward to 2018, Kick has successfully created one of the fastest growing ready-to-drink brands nationwide, with distribution in 42 states and seven international countries. She has also expanded her business’ portfolio to include premium spirits and wines under the name Southern Champion, one of the only women-owned distilleries in the country. Based out of Carrollton, Texas, Kick’s family owned and operated facility continues to prosper with a team of creative, dedicated people who share her vision. We hope you join us on our journey! Cheers from our family to yours. To learn more about BuzzBallz/Southern Champion, visit https://www.southern-champion.com/.