Boys & Girls Club awards 27 college scholarships

Registration is now open for the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's annual Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5k road race.

Registration is now open for the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley’s annual Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5k road race.

Contributed photo /

SHELTON — The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley has awarded nearly $38,000 in college scholarships to 27 present and former club members for the coming school year.

Distributions were made from eight scholarship funds endowed by the community. The winners are from Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Monroe, Naugatuck, Oxford and Seymour.

The Coram Gardens Civic Association Scholarship Fund was established in 1987 by the former Coram Gardens Civic Association to help improve the quality of life for those people from the geographic region of Coram Gardens. Since its inception, nearly $173,000 has been disbursed to help defer the cost of college tuitions. This year’s winners include Martin, Jailyn, Jaylan, Alain, Evie, Kayla, Sarah and Yencere for a total of $8,000.

The Raymond P. Lavietes Scholarship award was established in 2005 by longtime friend and supporter Ray Lavietes. Ray left our Boys & Girls Club a bequest of $100,000 to help our members afford a secondary education. More than $61,000 has been disbursed in scholarship funds. This year’s recipients were Mary, Julia, Sabrina, Taylor and Victoria for a total of $5,000.

George C. and Margaret Smith left a surprise bequest to the Boys & Girls Club, and since its inception this fund has provided nearly $140,000 for secondary education to young men and women. This year’s recipients include Joseph, Tiffany, Isabella, Jazelle and Natalia, with a total of $5,000.

The Dr. Edward G. Bednar award was established in 2010 by his family in memory of “Doc” Bednar, a longtime board member and unfailing supporter of the club and the children who attend each day. Since the first scholarship, the Bednar family has awarded nearly $40,000 to help club members pursuing an education in the healthcare field. This year’s recipients are Kiara, Paulina, William, Karyme and Nevaeh.

The Fortin Family Foundation scholarship provides assistance for students pursuing education in a trade such as manufacturing, carpentry, plumbing, or engineering. To date, $25,000 has been awarded to our members. This year’s recipients include Mikayla, Lilly and Luis, for a total of $9,000.

The David J. Marchitto scholarship is awarded in memory of David Marchitto, a longtime member of the board. Marchitto advocated for the children of the Boys & Girls Club as well as all youngsters in the Shelton public school system. Through this scholarship he continues to be a positive and lasting influence in the lives of club members as they pursue their hopes and dreams. This year’s recipient is Kadijah.

The Karen Bentlage Scholarship Fund is new this year and was established to further the graduates’ post-high school education. Bentlage has been an active member of the board for years, and is a champion of the club’s young men and women. This year’s award recipient is Lilly.

George & Beatrice Ryan Scholarship Fund at the Valley Community Foundation was established by George Ryan of Curtiss-Ryan Honda to help students planning to study automotive administration, sales, or technology, and has provided more than $6,100. This year’s recipient is Lilly.

Collectively, these scholarship funds have helped nearly 100 club members with their secondary education. The club alumni have entered the workforce with careers spanning industries from health care to communications and sales to criminal justice. The club’s new Workforce Development Program is a complementary offering that prepares club members for the workforce, whether they are interested in trades, health care, the business sector or anything else.

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