EASTON — More than 100 donors, Mid-Shore Community Foundation board members, volunteers, scholarship recipients, family and guests gathered April 27 at the Talbot Country Club for the first annual Scholarship Awards Breakfast and the presentation of 20 scholarships valued at $217,000, with an average award of $10,850. The scholarships were supported by eight of the 26 permanent scholarship funds at the foundation that participate in the Pooled Scholarship Application Program sponsored by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Alice Ryan, board member and chairman of the foundation's scholarship committee, and W. W. "Buck" Duncan, MSCF's new president, welcomed everyone to the first of what will be an annual event for the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
"As the largest scholarship provider in the five counties that we serve - Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties - we decided this year to consolidate our awards in one program so that we could properly celebrate each of our recipients and honor the donors that made the scholarships possible," Ryan said
Ryan said more than 112 individuals applied for the 20 scholarships presented by the foundation, and thanked the 12 members of the Scholarship Selection Committee - Liz Brice, Dale Brown, Art Cecil, Lamont Cooke, Susie Dillon, Wayne Howard, John Lewis, Clay Railey, Jennifer Stuart, PJ Townsend, Meg van den Berg and M. Bruce Wellington - for their many volunteer hours.
"We are the largest provider of scholarships in this region with over one third of the more than $47 million of assets at the foundation dedicated to scholarship support to deserving students in the Mid-Shore region. This is a significant and growing program at MSCF, and we are very grateful to the donors who make these scholarships possible and to the volunteers and staff at the foundation that work so hard to make sure the most deserving applicants receive the awards," Duncan said.
The Dorchester Heritage Museum/Dale Price Memorial Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Carlie M. Marshall, a graduating senior at Cambridge South Dorchester High School, to honor the late Dale Price, a former president, docent and long-time volunteer of Dorchester Heritage Museum.
The Frederick Douglass Honor Society scholarships of $500 were presented by Eric Lowery, Karen Shook and Richard Potter to Shane Fisher and Ian Lopez. Fisher is a graduating senior at St. Michaels High School, and Lopez is a graduating senior at Easton High School.
The Margaret Ferree Memorial Scholarship was established at MSCF to honor this long time Talbot County resident and her commitment to education. The two-year, $2,500 annual scholarship awarded to a graduate of a Talbot County public high school was presented to Mona K. Patel.
Brandy N. Ferguson was the recipient of the $1,500 Grover Bert Hastings and Bernice Wooters Hastings Scholarship for graduates of Colonel Richardson High School. The Hastings were retired educators from Caroline County Public Schools.
Haines and Nancy Holt joined in the presentation of the Roberta B. Holt Scholarships. These scholarships were established through the estate of Roberta B. Holt and represent a commitment by the late Bobbie Holt to educational opportunity for residents of Caroline County. $100,000 in scholarships were awarded to: Samantha A. Stelz, $30,000 over two years; F. Hunter Bennett, $10,000; Michelle B. Benton, $10,000; Maxwell A. Grable, $10,000; Madison A. Parks, $10,000; Haley M. Reed, $10,000; Dreama N. Stafford, $10,000; and Courtney L. Utberg, $10,000.
The Steele Scholars program was established by the foundation in 2009 through a bequest from Austin and Martha Steele. Austin and Martha Steele were both educators who later in life resided in both Dorchester and Talbot county. Four-year scholarships of $20,000 were awarded to one high school graduating senior from each of the five Mid-Shore counties: Nicole R. Gould, Talbot County, Easton High School; Megan A. Harper, Queen Anne's County, Kent Island High School; Emma Harvey, Kent County, Kent County High School; Rebekah D. Palamaras, Dorchester County, North Dorchester High School; and Dreama N. Stafford, Caroline County, Colonel Richardson High School.
The Robert F. Walls Memorial Scholarship to benefit Caroline County residents wishing to continue their education was established in memory of Robert F. Walls, a former employee at Saulsbury Brothers. The $1,500 scholarship was awarded to Michelle B. Benton.
The final scholarship, a $10,000 four-year scholarship for students with a commitment to a career in education was established to honor the memory of Marlin U. Zimmerman, principal and teacher at Easton High School from 1938 to 1968. Allison A. Szymanski, an Easton High School senior, was the recipient of the scholarship and will have her name placed on a plaque on display at Easton High School.