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Wesfield Rotary Presents $98,500 in Scholarships to College-Bound Seniors

Past winners of Westfield Rotary Club scholarships. Credits: Chung Kun Shih and Peter Shih

Westfield Public Schools Superintendent and Westfield Rotarian Dr. Margaret Dolan was the featured speaker at the Westfield Rotary Club Foundation’s annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony luncheon held June 7 as 24 local college-bound students were presented with scholarships totaling $98,500. 

Philip Richardson, chairman of the foundation’s scholarship selection committee, presided during the awards presentations in collaboration with committee: Rotarians Jayson Astel, Chung Kun Shih and Anthony LaPorta. Mary Ellen O’Boyle, also a member, was unable to attend.  Representing The Westfield Foundation, which manages  several local scholarship investment funds, were trustees Raymond Kostyack, a Rotarian, and Mark Swingle.

Scholarship recipients must be residents of the town who are graduating seniors enrolled in accredited high schools. Criteria for consideration, according to Marcus Millet, chairman of Rotary’s foundation, are based on academic achievement, service to the community and financial need.  “The committee members are to be congratulated on their diligence,” Millet observed. “The applications and supporting detail are carefully reviewed and every candidate who meets the criteria receives a personal interview.“The committee comes to know the applicants’ strong points fairly well during the process,” according to Richardson, “it is especially gratifying to present them with their scholarships.”

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Millet, states that about $4 million has been awarded to Westfield scholars since the inception of club’s “college fund” in 1923.  He explains, “Rotary’s group of scholarships were this year partially funded by proceeds from the club’s fall fundraiser, Small Plates for a Great Cause, held in cooperation with Lord & Taylor at its Westfield store; Breakfast with the Bands held earlier this spring, and Rotary’s investment fund managed by the Westfield Foundation and accumulated by donations and bequests by Rotarians, their families and friends.  

Swingle began the proceedings for The Westfield Foundation with the presentation of the $10,000 Robert M. and Winifred M. Read Memorial Law Scholarship valued at $10,000 to Kerrington Hall who attends Chicago-Kent College of Law.  The late Mr. Read was a local attorney, Rotary club president and a chairman of the scholarship selection committee.  Two $3,750 scholarships for studies in the Health Sciences in memory of Linda Read, the Reads’ daughter, were awarded to Katerina Truch who will attend the (University of the Sciences) and Soo Ming Chung (Brown University). 

Anthony LaPorta continued the ceremony presenting two Charles and Florence Wallace scholarships valued at $3,750 per year over the course of four years to Christina Harvey (University of Massachusetts) and Elizabeth Brown-Cordero (University of Delaware). Two $2,500 Wallace scholarships were awarded to Alexandra Sabba, (Arcadia University) and Mark Kostyack (Ohio State University). The $3,000 Chester A. Gerdes scholarship was presented by Raymond Kostyack to Aliyah Barnes (San Diego State University).

Jayson Astel presented three $5,000 scholarships in memory of the late Harry Sturcke, a Rotarian for 68 years with perfect attendance and the largest donor to the Rotary foundation, to: Emmy Liederman (The College of New Jersey), John Sanders (Rutgers University) and Margaret Schantz (Seton Hall University). Astel presented the Georgianna Pollack $3,500 scholarship to Leigh Scarano (University of Scranton).

The $2,000 Donald R. “Bob” Maxwell Scholarship, honoring a Rotarian since 1948 with perfect attendance, was presented by his son to Dana Boretz (Elon University). 

Millet presented a series of Scholarships in honor of Rotarians Living and Deceased: to: Taylor Bechtloff $3,500 (Villanova University); Alexis Riley $3,000 (Pennsylvania State University); Jack Edmondson $2,000 (Clemson University); Isabella Montes, $2,000, Monmouth University; Kyra Sullivan, $2,000 (Virginia Polytechnical Institute and University); Evan Gibbs, $2,000 (Gettysburg College). Those receiving $1,000 scholarships are: Aedan Collins (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Emily Greaney,  (Syracuse University); Mollie Brafman (Raritan Community College); Antonio Peer, (The New School) and Madeline Motyczka (Ryder University. 

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