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Church gives $9,000 in scholarships from Bird Endowment

By Staff | May 8, 2012

Five students will be presented checks this week from Cape Coral’s FaithPresbyterian Church.

The five college scholarships total $9,000, and are funded by an endowment established by Faith members, the late Robert and Bertha Bird years ago, now managed by the Cape Coral Community Foundation.

The endowment was established in 2004, awarded annually to a candidate who is associated with church and demonstrates outstanding qualities of church and community service, scholastic excellence and a desire to continue his or her education after high school.

Meghan Exline was chosen by the scholarship committee as the principle recipient, being awarded $5,000, with four other students getting $1,000 each.

“We selected them because the Birds established the criteria,” said Bird Scholarship Committee Chairman William Zacovic. “The recipients should be outstanding scholars that have dedicated a lot of work toward the betterment of Faith Presbyterian Church.

“All of the candidates this year have wonderful academic credentials, and they’ve all contributes extensively to the church. So the decision by the committee was difficult this year,” said Zacovic. “Meghan was selected as the winner, but the other college bound students were deserving of some recognition.”

Other scholarship committee members are Glenna Todd and Dave Marchant, all church members and all Cape residents.

Three of the four other students receiving $1,000 are from Cape Coral, including Claire Choate, Peter Elsdon and Kalli Shriner. The fourth recipient is Samantha Barnett of Fort Myers.

Exline said she was very excited to get the funds.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I can now get everything and anything I need.”

She is an extremely active member of Faith Presbyterian Church. She is the Youth Elder, and is graduating from Fort Myers High School from theInternational Baccalaureate program, with a GPA of 5.09. She’s going to be attending the University of Florida, and will be studying sports medicine, with a minor in Spanish.

“I visited both FSU and UF and when I got to UF I could just sense it was the school that I was meant to be at. They have a great selection of majors, and know they will do a great job providing for me,” Exline said,

“I’ve been a cheerleader through high school and associated with athletics and I like giving back to people, and in combination with working with athletes, that combination seemed like a good idea (for sports medicine) and something I am interested in.”

The presentation will be Sunday, May 13, at the church at acknowledging them at all three services: 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m.

The church is located at 4544 Coronado Parkway, Cape Coral.