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Highlands Rotary awards 19 scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS pose for a group picture after the banquet, speeches, and awards. Pictured with the scholars are Rotarians Jerry Fallin (President Elect) and Dr. Larry White (Scholarship Chairman). Not pictured, Andy Scott, club president.

Highlands Rotary Club held their annual Scholarship Banquet last Monday night, and awarded 19 scholarships totaling $32,500.

In spite of heavy rains and very inclement weather, the venue of the Baytown Boat Club on Highlands Clear Lake Road was full to capacity, with scholarship recipients, family and friends, and Rotarians and their families.

The scholarships are a result of the funds raised primarily at the club’s Annual Chili Feast in February. At this event, a new vehicle is raffled off to a $100 ticket holder, along with 13 other prizes, and the net proceeds are used for the scholarships and other community projects.

Over the years, these projects have included supporting such groups as the Bay Area Homeless, Baytown Youth Fair, Bras for the Cause, Cody Stephens Foundation, Crosby Fair & Rodeo, Highlands Food Pantry, Harris County Stratford Library, Harris County Seniors program, Highlands Horizons Miss Highlands Pageant, Highlands Little League, Highlands Volunteer Fire Department, Hurricane Relief, Methodist Church, Northshore Rotary, Partners in Education, Share Your Christmas, Stratford Library Summer Reading Program, Community Tree Lighting ceremony, Wreaths Across America, Thanksgiving Turkeys for needy families, and Precinct2gether, as well as many other projects.

The club estimates that since it started awarding scholarships, it has given out over $500,000 in scholarships to college bound students. Awards are from $1500 to $2500 per school year.

Scholarship Awards this year went to the following:

From Goose Creek CISD:

— Natalia Alonso
— Lorelei Barboza
— Isabella Castellano
— Yaddah Rodriguez Garay
— Pranav Gupta
— Krystal Herrera
— Samantha Hillier
— Tanishqa Kharat
— Nelda Marquez
— Mairely Padilla (RL Creel Scholarship)
— Mya Withers

From Crosby ISD:
— Zarina Ards (Pat McPhee Scholarship)
— Isaiah Cavazos (Chester Stasney Scholarship)

From Chinquapin Prep:
— Francisco Trujillo (JE Bird Scholarship)

From Sam Houston State Univ.:
— Morgan Forsyth (WL Herndon Scholarship)

From Texas A&M:
— Madison Moyer
— Joshua Protain

From UT Austin:
— Shaily Yadav

Named scholarships are in honor of Highlands Rotarians who contributed to the club and the community, and that have passed away. They are presented by a person who was best friends or family to the Rotarian that is being honored.

This year, the following special named Scholarships were:

Pat McPhee Scholarship, presented by his widow Barbara McPhee to Zarina Ards of Crosby ISD;

Chester Stasney Scholarship, presented by his best friend Johnny Gaeke and his widow Marie Stasney, to Isaiah Cavazos of Crosby ISD. Chester passed away this year, but he was known for his famous Chili recipe that was served annually at the club’s Chili Feast. This honor has passed to the presenter, Johnny Gaeke.

W.L. Herndon Scholarship, presented by his daughter Patricia Scott to Morgan Forsyth of Sam Houston State University. Morgan is the granddaughter of Dr. Herndon.

R.L. Creel Scholarship, presented by Dr. Larry White to Mairely Padilla of Goose Creek CISD;

J.E. Bird Scholarship, presented by Dr. Larry White to Francisco Trujillo of Chilquapin Prep.

Congratulations to all!