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Chamber honors scholarship recipients at individual ceremonies

By Staff | Jul 16, 2020

This year, instead of attending the annual Excellence in Education Awards ceremony, nine recipients had the opportunity to enjoy a small individual ceremony at the Cape Coral Yacht Club last weekend.

“Each year, our Education Committee hosts Taste of the Cape, along with the Gulf Coast Symphony. The funds raised through that event, along with sponsorships, go directly to our scholarship fund,” Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral President and CEO Donna Germain said in an email. “In lieu of the awards ceremony, we invited each recipient and their family to receive their scholarship in small individual ceremonies that we hosted last Saturday at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.”

Those recipients included:

* Makenna Diogo: North Fort Myers High School attending USF

* Denae Angels: Oasis High School – attending UF

* Jamie Consolino: North Fort Myers High School attending UCF

* Ashley Tabon: North Fort Myers High School attending FGCU

* Sarah Gerega: Mariner High School attending Nova Southeastern University

* Chloe Evans: North Fort Myers High School attending USF

* Eddie McDonald: Ida S. Baker High School attending FSU

* Madison Dingerson: Ida S. Baker High School attending FSW and then going onto UF

* Breanna Johnson: North Fort Myers High School Junior Leadership Cynthia Gallagher Memorial Scholarship recipient attending UF

Each ceremony was captured on video and the finished project will be presented to the recipients and their families, as well as with the community to honor the graduates.

“We are so thankful to all of the scholarship sponsors including our Title Sponsor, The Breeze Newspapers and also the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family,” Germain said. “The recipients were thrilled to be honored and their families were thankful as well to see their kids honored for their accomplishments.”

She said for the last 30 years they have held an annual Excellence in Education Awards where they recognize educators from each school in Cape Coral and recognize students from the highest grade level of each school, with each high school senior recipient also receiving a scholarship from the chamber.

“Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we opted not to host the awards this year, but instead award $1,000 scholarships to nine recipients from Cape Coral through an application process facilitated by our Education Committee,” she said.

Germain said included in those recipients is a graduate from their Junior Leadership Program, who was awarded the Cynthia Gallagher Memorial Scholarship.

“Junior Leadership is a 10-session course that we offer at no cost to high school juniors to help them prepare for college and their career track. We also teach them about their community through a series of themed days, including topics like community stewardship, education, public safety, media, infrastructure and many more,” she said. “Cynthia Gallagher was a beloved community leader and was instrumental in the creation of that program nearly 20 years ago. We honor her and her vision for this program each year through that scholarship.”