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Kiwanis Club announces scholarships for local students

By KIWANIS CLUB - | Jul 21, 2021

The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club recently announced its Kiwanis Scholarship Awards Program recipients for the coming 2021-22 school year. The club is awarding a total of $56,500 in scholarships to 26 area students, with the one-year scholarships raised from $1,000 to $1,500 for the first time.

Repeat multi-year scholarships were presented to Daisy Arensman, Sam Arensman, Jake Mann and Amber Schweitzer, with new multi-year scholarships awarded to Amanda Kovaks, Arabella Arado Lilleslatten, Aisha Smaller and Kiandre Smaller. One-year awards were presented to Brooke Adams, Maria Angelino, Alayna Aracri, Calie Connor, Cole Connor, Adrian Cooper, Jennifer Crown, Ellie Eldridge, Gabriele Gedvilaite, Sage Holaway, Kylie Junghans, David Lowden, Skyler Lowden, Elizabeth Meardon, Samantha Strickland, Kylie Sutton, Caroline Tesoro and Lauren Yates.

Some special scholarships were made in honor of Kiwanis family members and donors. Holaway received the Salatino Family Scholarship, Daisy Arensman received the Joan Kearney Scholarship, Sam Arensman received the Nancy Bender Memorial Award, Schweitzer received the Walter Dickinson II Memorial Award and Aisha Smaller received the Carl Dietz Memorial Award. In addition, two awardees received Sam and Frances Bailey Islands Night Memorial Scholarships: Angelino for achievement in athletics, and Junghans for achievement in community service.

This year’s recipients are headed to 17 different colleges and universities.

To be eligible, students must have a connection to Sanibel or Captiva, which means they must be residents or have parents who work on-island. The program is managed by Kiwanians Bill Traum and Chris Heidrick, who solicit applications every year and oversee the administration of the awards.

“Each spring we put the word out to encourage students to apply, and applications are due to us in late March,” Traum said. “Judging of the candidates is handled by a review board of independent educators who are not members of our club or even residents of this community. That way we can insure objectivity in the review. The criteria used for making decisions include each applicant’s financial means, past academic performance and community involvement.”

Over the past 15 years, the program has provided $516,000 in financial support. It has been made possible by the community’s support of the fundraising activities that the club holds each year, including its Spaghetti Dinner, Diner’s Delight coupon book, golf tournaments and also donations.

“Our club is blessed by the generosity of this community and the way they support our events,” President Bill Hay said. “We, in turn, put those resources to work for the benefit of our local young people.”