The Seattle food safety law firm Marler Clark, sponsor of Food Safety News, has given $5,000 in scholarship funds to Medway High School in Massachusetts for students interested in pursuing college degrees in science.

The scholarship funds were donated in memory of John Powers, a World War II veteran who died in 2008 from a listeriosis infection he contracted after drinking Listeria-contaminated pasteurized milk.

Marler Clark, which represents victims of foodborne illnesses nationwide, worked on behalf of Powers’ family.

 “This scholarship is intended to honor the memory of a wonderful man and a huge Sox fan,” said Marler Clark managing partner, Bill Marler, who noted that Powers, his wife Regina, and their three children all graduated from Medway High School.

Five Medway High students will benefit from the scholarship donation, which will be awarded in $1,000 increments over five years. “We want encourage students to consider the sciences in hopes that we can reduce – or one day even eliminate – human illnesses like the Listeriosis infection that took John Powers’ life.,” Marler said.

Listeria is the common name for the pathogenic or disease-causing bacterium known as Listeria monocytogenes. It is a foodborne bacterium that, when ingested, causes an infection known as listeriosis.  Approximately 1,591 illnesses and 255 deaths are attributed to listeriosis in the United States annually.