SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- In its 52nd year the Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation continues to fulfill its many, varied partnerships with community members, community organizations and individuals by distributing $156,150 in scholarship aid to 97 students. 

Community members contributed to the Dollars for Students Campaign used to distribute $24,000 among high school and college students who demonstrated both academic achievement and financial need.  The High School students are: Jennifer Lambert (Eleanor Kramps), Connor Wirth (John Lawson), Christine Vilarino (Joseph Nagy), Jakub Hibner, Andrew Lomuscio, David Chango, Jr., Aaron Schack, Carolyn McArdle.

The college students are Alaina Frank (Recipient Funded), Rebecca Citarella (Henry Schwiering), Rachel Lambert (Lenore Stein), Matthew Auda, Jessica Vilarino, Alexander Karakis, Brianna Sorrentino, Alexa-Jada Nelson. 

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Several individuals and families have entrusted funds to the Foundation’s stewardship and this year the following students have benefited from such partnership: 

  • Jim Alfano Memorial, Scott Kaiser;
  • Adrian Andrews Memorial, Karl Wirth;
  • George Bryan Memorial, Ashley Becker;
  • Karen and Joseph Franzone Memorial, Anna Gumpel;
  • William and Ruth Linge Memorial, LeeDar Sneor and Caitlin Bourke;
  • William McGinn Memorial, Nicholas Route;
  • Courtney Metzger Memorial, Maria DelSordi;
  • James O’Hara Powers Memorial, Nicholas Heath and Caraid McGovern;
  • Dr. Murial Ramsden Memorial, Mackenzie O’Brien;
  • Terry and Arlene Riegel Scholarship Fund, Caroline English;
  • James Sochan Memorial, Samantha Graifer;
  • Jeffrey Spring Memorial, David Saggio; and
  • Franklin Maine and Helen McConnell Spooner, Rachel Graham.

Other individuals and community organizations delegate to the Foundation’s dedicated Screening Committee the details of scrutinizing and determining the year’s most deserving students who also meet their varied criteria.  These partners and the students honored by their scholarships are: 

  • Besson Family Memorial, Joseph Dietze and Zoe Cardenas;
  • Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill, Adam Mayerson;
  • Mauro and Rulene DiFrancesco, Riya Desai;
  • Frank DiNizo Memorial, Caraid McGovern;
  • Donna Doremus Memorial, Daniella Cohen;
  • Friday’s Place, Clifford Stueck;
  • Girl Scouts, Ciara McParland;
  • Gordon Memorial Lacrosse, Jake Rigney and Kerry Regan;
  • Doris Koues Memorial, Bridget Wallden;
  • John and Marie Losavio Memorial, Samantha Graifer;
  • Tom Montagna (Follow Your Dream), Louis Daniele;
  • Katherine Newcomer Memorial, Sydney Von Oehsen;
  • Lynn Payne Memorial, Sydney Von Oehsen;
  • Dr. Robert V. Scalera Memorial, Mackenzie Inacker;
  • LaVerne Schnell Memorial, Grace Fontana;
  • School One Retired Elementary Educators and Staff, Amelia Graham; SPFHS Italian Honor Society, Maria DelSordi and Josephine Catuogno;
  • Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ice Hockey Association, Adam Glod;
  • Lina Suriano Memorial, Josephine Catuogno;
  • SPF Lacrosse Club Scholarship, Nicholas Route and Erica Paprocki;
  • Mauro and Rulene DiFrancesco Saint Bartholomew Student Caroline Gutierrez;
  • Frank Fumosa Memorial Ethan Wollman;
  • Marie DiFrancesco Leppert Briana McGowan;
  • John J. Maggs Memorial, Ryan Midwinter; and
  • Camille DiNizo Memorial Claudia Sahaj.

One of our deepest partnerships is with the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club and the Rotary-Garbe Foundation who administer the funds for the following scholarships: 

  • Rotary Garbe Foundation, awarded for four years to Rosella Cuomo, Rhiannon Leonardo, and Patrick Gannon (2018); Lukas Stein, Ethan Cheung and Marc Occhipinti (2017); Matthew Auda, Alexander Guevara, Maxwell Kearns and Jacob Brown (2016); and Alaina Frank, Steven Davies and Roland Crystal (2015);  
  • William Mullin Memorial, awarded for four years, Julia Dunlap (2018); Taylor Sirchio (2017); and Mariel Weigel (2016);
  • Ethel Perkins Memorial, awarded for four years, Niva Patel (2018); Brianna Sorrentino (2017); Noah Bernstein (2016); and Emily Fidlow (2015);
  • David Ringle Memorial Valedictorian Award, Madeline Bord and Salutatorian Award, Olivia Barcia;
  • Robert Kraus Memorial, Sydney Evans; and
  • Dr. Richard Dobyns Turnaround Award, Sydney Martorano.

Our Foundation began in 1966 with a donation from the SPFHS PTA - a partnership which flourishes to this day. Every PTA in the school district contributes at least two scholarships to graduates who have attended their schools. In addition, the Scholarship Chairperson for each PTA serves on the Foundation’s Screening Committee. 

The PTA Council scholarships: Manya Unger to Michael Leegan and Sierra Moorman, Dr. Carol Choye to Kiley Porter and Health and Wellness to Brandon Boyarsky;

  • SPFHS PTA scholarships: Robert Adams, Jr. to Matthew Lozito and Dr. Terry K. Riegel to Alexandra Vuono; 
  • Park Middle School McTB scholarships:  Andrew Kriney and Vaishnavi Ramanan;
  • Terrill Middle School John C. Foulks scholarships: Zachary Fleischman and Bridget Wallden
  • Brunner Elementary scholarships: Dr. Albert DeSousa Memorial to Nirmit Damania and Brunner PTA Special Services to Shefali Dahiya and Anna Piekutowski
  • J. Ackerman Coles Elementary scholarships: Carl M. Kumpf to Julie Kim and Divya Narayanan, and Carol Patten Memorial to Hannah Davis;
  • Evergreen Elementary scholarships: Dr. Beverlee Kaminetzky to Mikaela Tajo, Kehs-Aakjer Memorial to Bradley Chernoff and Chickie Giraud Memorial to Andrew Parvin;
  • McGinn Elementary Mariana Cassidy Excellence Awards to Matthew Shih and Megan Small; and School One Elementary scholarships: James V. Cerasa to Lauren Trentacoste and Jeffrey Grysko to Katherine Schug.

Congratulations to these outstanding scholars and our deepest thanks to all our partners who have stood by us for 52 years.  For further information, please visit our website or contact the Foundation’s president, Mary Ball Cappio at 908-889-8155, or

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