Mayors Scholarship honorees feted
For the past 35 years, the Cape Coral Mayors Scholarship fund has helped hundreds of students make their college education a little less expensive.
On Thursday, at the Palmetto Pine Country Club, 25 high school seniors received $1,500 scholarships at the annual dinner that honors the best students the city has to offer.
City Councilmember Jim Burch, a member of the board of directors for the past 10 years, said the recipients represent the cream of the crop. Need is not a consideration.
“The degree of talent among the kids is amazing. These scholarships are given according to their GPA and community service,” Burch said. “There is nothing objective about this. It is merit based.”
The students came to the dinner in style, as they usually do, in a limousine from City Hall to the country club. They then took a group picture and walked the red carpet inside. They got their awards and were met onstage by their sponsors, who are a crucial component of the program.
Mary Fischer, school board member and chairperson for the program, said nearly 75 seniors applied for the scholarships, and that narrowing them down to 25 was a real challenge.
“It’s a privilege to be able to support them, and it’s thanks to our sponsors who are committed and very faithful to this cause for many year.” Fischer said. “It’s always a very uplifting event and it highlights the good things that are happening with the youth of our community.”
Katherine Ortega, whose daughter Stefania Lugli of Cape Coral High School was among the winners, said she was thrilled for her daughter.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “She’s been given so many gifts lately. She’s a straight A student, she’s gifted and she’s a workaholic like her mom,” said Ortega, whose daughter will attend NYU in the fall.
Lugli said winning this has meant the most to her.
“This one means the most to me because I saw all those I admired win it,” she said. “It’s an honor to be a mayor recipient.”
The Cape Coral Mayors Scholarship fund was started in 1982 and has given out more than $750,000 in scholarships. It is a non-profit organization that is not part of the city government. All members are live and/or work in Cape Coral.
Each year the city’s current mayor acts as a trustee and supporter along with other, former, mayors.
Funds are raised through advertising in the banquet program and participation, donations and the fundraising Theater Night event at the Cultural Park Theater.
All recipients reside in Cape Coral, but can go to schools outside the city.
This year’s recipients include:
Kelsi Bevington, Rachel Cain, Emilee Cato, Morgan Clouse, Tristan D”Agostino, Jessica DeFrance, Shreeya Desai, Javier Diaz, Anna Dostie, Courtney Dougherty, Jenny Fleuristal, Gina Froehlich, Victoria Kowalczyk, Jamie Lee, Juliana Lopez, Stefania Lugli, Vince Marcucci, Kayla McNeely, Katherine Morris, Tuyet Nguyen, Brandan Pearson, Rekha Pednekar, Bailee Peralta, Shanjida Rauf and Helena Robertson.