SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Carlie McNichol and Joshua Cochran-Carney, residents of Scotch Plains and June graduates of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, were recently awarded the Grausso/Bendel Memorial Scholarships from the Scotch Plains Lions Club.

The scholarship, created in memory of two former leaders of the Scotch Plains Lions Club Norm Bendel and Tony Grausso, is awarded annually to a SPFHS senior who plans to go to college. Preference is given to students who have demonstrated involvement in community service especially those causes dedicated to the blind and visually impaired.  

Both Carlie and Joshua were honor students and were involved in various community service activities for the blind.

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One of Joshua’s community service activities was raising and training a Labrador Retriever puppy for 14 months for The Seeing Eye Foundation, which matches trained dogs with blind people. Joshua will attend Kean University in the Fall while studying Industrial Design.

Carlie, the high school's 2017 valedictorian, has been active as a coach for a Special Olympics Swim Team based in Scotch Plains. There she formed a close friendship with a blind boy whom she said taught her as much about life as she taught him about swimming. Carlie will study Finance and International Business at Georgetown University.

The Lions Clubs are the world’s largest and most active service organizations. They have more than 1.4 million members active in more than 43,000 Lions clubs around the world. They are dedicated to meeting a variety of  their community’s needs with the association’s major service initiative being serving the blind and visually impaired.

For more information on the Scotch Plains Lions Club or to attend a meeting call the club’s president Barbara Anilo at 908-322-4472.