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Kiwanis Club hands out 23 scholarships to students totaling $38,000

By Staff | Jun 19, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED The Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva's 2018 scholarship recipients and their parents at the recent awards breakfast held at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club.

The Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva recently hosted a special event at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club to honor several students selected to receive scholarships for the 2018-2019 school year.

The scholarship recipients were announced, and the students and their parents discussed with the club members their plans for future education over breakfast.

The club’s Scholarship Program has been in operation for 12 years, helping worthy local students achieve their higher education goals. This year, the program awarded a total of $38,000 in scholarships to 23 students – more than double the amount awarded the year the program first began. In total, the program has provided $338,000 in scholarship support to 251 deserving students over the years.

Kiwanis President Jason Smith emphasized the growing importance of the program.

“The mission of Kiwanis is to provide support to the youth of our community, and with the increasing importance of advanced education, our Scholarship Program is one of the most valuable things our Club does,” he said.

This year’s recipients are headed to 10 different colleges and universities, mostly in Florida and the Southeast, but some are traveling as far the New England area. Sixteen received one-year scholarships and the remainder received multi-year awards. Students are encouraged to re-apply each year as they continue their education.

To be eligible, students must have a connection to Sanibel or Captiva, which means they must be residents or have parents who work here. To ensure objectivity, applications are evaluated and judged by a panel of independent education professionals off-island who have no ties to the applicants.

The multi-year scholarships were presented to: Analiese Araci, Sam E. Arensman, Stephanie Crown, Eric Jorgensen (Howell), Dahlia Arado Lilleslatten, Amber Schweitzer and Kelsi Snow.

The one-year scholarships were presented to: Brendan Chase, Dara Lynn Craig, Deanna Marie Craig, Jacob Crandon, Jennifer Crown, Suzanna Decosta, Gabriele Gedvilaite, Amanda Kovacs, Gina Radicchi, Sierra Rainville, Mitchell Rice, Erin Jean Rich, Alyssa Vetter, Charles A. Wehrlen, Madison Weigel and Noah Weigle.

Two special scholarships were presented in the memory of Kiwanis family members who recently passed away. Amber Schweitzer received the Walter Dickinson II Memorial Award, and Sam Arensman received the Nancy Bender Memorial Award. In addition, two awardees received the Sam and Frances Bailey Islands Night Memorial Scholarships: Jacob Crandon for his achievements in athletics, and Dara Lynn Craig for her achievements in community service – her second time for the award.

The club congratulated all of the recipients and wished them success in the coming year. It also thanked the community for its support of the club’s fundraising activities that help to underwrite the Scholarship Program, including the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner and Diner’s Delight restaurant coupon books.