Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sunrise Rotarians Award Scholarships


Photos by Steve StefanidesThroughout the world, there are over 35,000 Rotary Clubs with 1.2 million members. Being a Rotarian means more than the sum of what a Rotarian believes about Rotary. Instead, it revolves around maintaining high ethical standards in one’s business, in one’s profession and in one’s personal life.

The commitment to those high ethical standards and to the “four principles” of Rotary are a large part of why Rotary clubs pay close attention to the education of young people in our communities. As part of that commitment, Rotary is also committed to assisting where they can in the furthering of children’s education.

Marco Island Sunrise Rotary helps to support a local Rotary Interact Service Club within the Marco Island Academy. The Interact Club is a service club for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who want to connect with others of their age and have fun volunteering within their communities. There presently are over 20,300 Interact Clubs sponsored by local Rotary Clubs around the world.

Considerable fundraising is done each year to ensure scholarships are provided to deserving high school seniors who are continuing their higher educational pursuits. The criteria considered for award of a scholarship include but are not limited to academics (which include class rank, GPA and SAT scores), involvement in school activities, leadership outside of school such as employment and charitable work, and family income – the ability to support the student in college.  

As part of the evaluation of the students and their character, the four principles of Rotary also are applied in the consideration:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build good will and better friendships?
  • Is it beneficial to all concerned?

Bud Palmer, former President of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Marco Island and a member of the Scholarship Award Committee, along with his wife Angela, were present to award four scholarships to outstanding students from the Marco Island Academy.

The Dottie Weiner Award, which is named in honor of the late YMCA Director of Aquatics and longtime Rotarian, was awarded to Grace Fields in the amount of $3000. Grace will be attending the University of Hartford next year.

The second award, in the name of the late James Pearson, a longtime Rotarian who was a supporter of the scholarship funding, went to Jasmin Schauer in the amount of $3000. Jasmin will be attending Florida Atlantic University next year.

The third award, in the name of the late longtime Rotarian and city activist Dick Shanahan, went to Luis Aguilar in the amount of $4000. Luis will be attending Florida State University next year.

A fourth award was presented in the name of the late Thomas “Wayne” Purvis, a longtime Sunrise Rotarian and great supporter of the Marco Island Academy, by his wife Sue, in the amount of $5000. That award went to Kevin Barry. Kevin will be attending Rice University next year.

All of these students are proud members of the prestigious National Honor Society at the Marco Island Academy.

Scholarship winners are:

  • 132-2  Grace Fields Recipient of the Dottie Weiner Scholarship.
  • 139-2  Jasmin Schauer Recipient of the James Pearson Scholarship.
  • 073-2 or 128-3  Luis Aguilar Recipient of the Dick Shanahan Scholarship.
  • 112-2  Kevin Barry Recipient of the  Wayne Purvis Scholarship.


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