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Cape Coral Mayor’s Scholarship Fund hosts first fund-raiser

By Staff | Dec 3, 2008

The Cape Coral Mayor’s Scholarship Fund held the first of its two major fund-raisers Wednesday at City Hall.
Mayor Jim Burch encouraged donations to the fund during a time of economic strife.
“(The scholarship fund) couldn’t be more important than it is right now. There are a lot of kids that will not go to college without this scholarship,” he said.
The fund doles out $1,500 to each graduating high school senior who is awarded the scholarship. Last year there were 89 applicants and 20 total scholarships awarded.
Applicants must be Cape Coral residents to qualify for the award, and are judged on a variety of criteria, including grades and community involvement.
Burch said the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship is a prime target as state legislators look to trim Florida’s budget, making the mayor’s fund that more vital.
“The Bright Futures, that’s one of the programs they’re looking at pulling back on. A lot of kids will really rely on that $1,500 to make it or break it,” he said.
Founded in 1983, the fund has grown from giving out two scholarships in its first year to giving out more than 90 in the last four years.
“Mayor (Jim) Price, he came up with the idea and they formed a committee … and they’ve been giving out scholarships ever since,” said City Clerk Bonnie Potter, who has been on the fund’s board since its inception.
Every new Cape Coral mayor is named as the honorary chairman of the fund. For the last three years former Mayor Eric Feichthaler, who resigned last month, held that position.
“This event became bigger and bigger every year. I’m hoping with the economic downturn we don’t see that big of a slide,” Feichthaler said.
Students must apply for the scholarship by Feb. 6. Applications can be downloaded from the fund’s Web site, www.capecoralmayorscholarship.com, and mailed to Cape Coral Mayor’s Scholarship Fund Inc., P.O. Box 101124, Cape Coral, FL 33910-1124.
Winners of the scholarships will be announced at the fund’s awards banquet on April 29 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.