BELMAR, NJ — Each week, members of the Belmar Woman’s Club get together for lunch and an afternoon of playing cards and other games, including holding a 50/50 raffle. While these parties are enjoyable, they also serve a more important purpose: to raise funds for the club’s annual college scholarship program.
Primarily through the donations of its members, the 31-member club once again has awarded three $1,000 scholarships to Belmar high school seniors who will be pursuing their college education in the fall.
“I love this day when we present these scholarships,” said Rosemarie Papa, the club’s first vice president and Education Committee chairperson, during a presentation of the educational gifts at its monthly meeting on June 2.
“We had quite a few applications and had to make some difficult choices. But our winners this year are amazing,” she said, pointing to their stellar records of academic achievement, school-related activities and volunteer work. Also, they all find time to hold down part-time jobs.
Here’s a look at each scholarship winner.
Krista Dalton, 18, is graduating from Red Bank Regional High School with a grade point average (GPA) of 92.4. Writing in her application that she wants to “make a difference in people’s lives,” she will be attending Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., majoring in social work or psychology.
At Red Bank Regional, Dalton was a member of the girls’ swim team, managed the boys’ lacrosse team, held various club memberships and participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Color Run for Cancer. She also is employed by Eastern Lines Surf Shop, Belmar, and the Avon Pavilion and Columns, both in Avon-by-the-Sea.
Griffin McDermott, 18, just graduated from St. Rose High School with a 101.5 GPA, earning him recognition as one of the school’s top 10 academic students. In the fall, he will join the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at the University of Maryland, where he plans to pursue a materials engineering degree.
At St. Rose, McDermott was the parliamentarian of the National Honor Society and served as class president in his freshman and sophomore years. He was captain of the boys' lacrosse team, most recently making the Shore Conference’s Second Team All-Division and also being named an Academic All-American. His volunteer work included spearheading St. Rose’s No Shave November to raise funds for cancer awareness and participating in a charity ice hockey game to benefit children with developmental disabilities. McDermott also works at Taylor’s Hardware, Belmar, and Down to Earth Landscaping, Jackson.
Collin Seebeck, 18, is a 2017 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Middletown, where he had a 95 GPA, and was a member of the National Honor Society and the crew team. He will major in engineering while attending Clemson University in South Carolina.
In high school, Seebeck volunteered with the Christian Brothers’ Lasallian Youth, providing outreach to the underserved in Asbury Park, as well as at Selective Seconds thrift shop in Belmar, Foodbank of Monmouth County and Special Olympics. He works for Down to Earth Landscaping, Jackson.
For some 30 years, the Belmar Woman’s Club has been awarding scholarships to high school seniors living in Belmar who meet certain academic criteria, are involved in school and community activities and/or have work experience. They must also write an essay explaining the scholarship award’s importance to her or him, and are asked to provide information on colleges to which they have applied or been accepted, their planned college major and career goals.
The club’s seven-member Education Committee, led by Papa, reviewed all applications, utilizing a “blind selection” process, where the identities of applicants remained unknown.
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