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A Concession Stand for Scholarships

Arlington, Tex. — The best-looking nachos at the Final Four are the Slam Dunk Vegetarian Nachos, one of several tasty creations of Orazio LaManna, the executive chef here at AT&T Stadium.

But the most popular nachos are the Ultimate Nachos, a $9 heap of jalapeños, melted cheese, and soupy nacho sauce that should not be consumed by one person (especially if you’re getting on an airplane tomorrow).

Fans here were expected to purchase 50 tons of Ultimate Nachos over the two-day event—and college students are one of the beneficiaries.

The concession stands here are all operated by nonprofit organizations. And two booths that sell the Ultimate Nachos benefit a Dallas organization called the Books and Dreams Foundation, which helps students buy books for college.

Last year the foundation contributed over $10,000 to more than 100 local high-school students, its leaders say. The students each received $250 to $600, which was sent directly to colleges to help pay for their books.

Booker Washington, the organization’s founder, started the group to help underprivileged local students who were high academic achievers.

He says he has another organization, the Bridge Foundation, that last year provided some $13,000 in scholarship assistance to local high-school students. The money for that foundation also comes from stadium concessions.

The charities grew out of a project dreamed up by a chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, whose members man Mr. Washington’s booths. (They are all volunteers, which helps more of the money go to students, he says.)

One fraternity members, Kenne Evans, is assistant director of admissions at Mountain View College, a community college near here. He’s been a member of the fraternity for more than 20 years, and was busy working one of the booths on Monday night during the game.

Together with their board, Mr. Washington, Mr. Evans, and other members of the fraternity comb through the dozens of applications every year. They base their awards largely on academic excellence, but they also put a high value on community service.

Their goal is to distribute at least $20,000 a year in aid—which, judging from the line at the Ultimate Nachos booths, they’re well on their way to meeting.

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