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Kiwanis club honors scholarship award recipients

By Staff | Jun 19, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club's 2019 scholarship recipients and their parents gather with club members following the Scholarship Awards Breakfast.

The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club’s most significant program to benefit island youth is its scholarship program, and the scholarship recipients for the 2019-2020 school year were recently announced.

Students and their parents were honored at a special breakfast at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club.

It is the 13th year the scholarship program has been in operation, helping worthy students achieve their higher education goals. This year, the program awarded a total of $57,500 in scholarships to 26 youth – a $20,000 increase over what was awarded last year. Since its inception, the program has distributed 277 scholarships totaling $396,000.

The club was able to make a significant increase in the size of this year’s program as a result of the community’s strong support of the fundraising activities organized by the Kiwanis.

“Scholarship support like this is critical for many students, given the growing importance of advance education and in light of how expensive college has become,” club President Doug Congress said. “Our club’s mission is to support island youth, and this is one of the most valuable things we do.”

This year’s recipients are headed to 16 different colleges and universities – 11 within Florida and five to institutions throughout the eastern United States. Eighteen of the awardees received one-year scholarships, and the remaining eight received multi-year awards. Students are encouraged to reapply 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 on the islands. To ensure objectivity, applications are evaluated and judged by a panel of independent education professionals located off-island who have no connection to the applicants.

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

The one-year awards were presented to: Maria Angelino, Carson Brown, Calie Connor, Adrian Cooper, Deanna Marie Craig, Jacob Crandon, Jennifer Crown, Deanna M. Evans, Gabriele Gedvilaite, Anna Kjoller, Amanda Kovaks, Elizabeth Meardon, Mitchell Rice, Kylie M. Sutton, Caroline Tesoro, Alyssa Vetter, Kyle Walker and Noah Weigel.

Among the awards this year, two special scholarships were made in 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 Sam and Frances Bailey Islands Night Memorial Scholarships – Maria Angelino for her achievement in athletics, and Deanna Marie Craig for her achievements in community service.

The club congratulates all of this year’s recipients and wishes them success in the coming year. It also thanks the island community for its support of the fundraising activities that make the program possible, including the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner and the Kiwanis Diner’s Delight coupon book.