Mary E. Kirwan Catholic Education Scholarship Awarded

     Three middle school students were awarded this year’s Mary E. Kirwan Catholic Education Scholarship at St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore.  Established in 2014, this scholarship honors Ken-Ton resident Mary Kirwan, who founded the school’s annual Golf Tournament and Scholarship Dinner.  Over the past decade, this event has generated over a quarter-million dollars that is exclusively dedicated to scholarships and tuition assistance for school families.  The unique scholarship is awarded to middle school students at St. John’s Kenmore who emulate Kirwan’s commitment to excellence, leadership, faith and service within a Catholic framework.
1Seventh graders Chloe Bowles, Ted Brown, and Analee DeGlopper were each recipients of a $1,000 scholarship for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.  Students were nominated by the faculty for their academic achievements and distinguished service.  Each candidate underwent an interview and applications were then evaluated by a selection committee.  Proceeds from the tournament have significantly increased over the past few years, allowing the school to establish this endowed scholarship fund.  Due to tournament’s continued success, the scholarship trustees were once again this year able to increase the number of scholarships offered from one to three. 
An annual Golf Tournament & Scholarship Dinner is hosted each year on the Saturday following Labor Day.  “We are so grateful that this event continues to grow each year,” says Michelle Salemi, Director of Advancement.  “We have loyal supporters who have been with us since day one returning each year and yet, the enthusiasm and interest with this event continues to gain momentum each year which brings new sponsors into the fold.  It’s just so very rewarding that as the tournament grows, so too does our school.  This ensures that our families have the necessary resources to provide their children with a Catholic education.  Having the fruits of this tournament stay right here—among our St. John’s families—is very rewarding!”
Strategic upgrades have been integral to promoting the event.  “Our day begins at the town’s beautiful Sheridan Golf Course—a favorite among our golfers…but it’s really the Scholarship Dinner that’s been significantly transformed.  We’ve gone from paper placemats with cafeteria tables to linens and other adornments and this year, we’re expanding our auctions and gift pulls to two floors.  Thanks to the devoted alums, parishioners, sponsors and school parents, this tournament continues to thrive!  It’s very humbling to be a part of it.” 
Salemi credits the devoted alums, parishioners, and school parents with the tourney’s success, adding, “It’s reassuring and gratifying to have their support year after year—it never ceases to amaze me!  And, whether we’re helping families through tuition assistance or recognizing deserving students with the Kirwan scholarships, these collective efforts are truly making a difference within our community!”  Plans are well underway for this year’s Golf Tournament and Scholarship Dinner that will be held on Saturday, September 9th.