The Pine Island Kiwanis Club is preparing for its annual college scholarships presentation to area youth. The club has provided more than $300,000 of assistance awarded to date.
"We are in the midst of raising the money for our grants," scholarship drive chairperson Carlyn Herring said. "This would never happen without the generous help of all of our Pine Island residents. They are the true angels in this endeavor."
The scholarships have become an integral part of the Kiwanis' mission. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.
Since the Taste of Pine Island was cancelled last year, and again this year, raising funds has become more challenging and other avenues are being explored in order to raise the money for the scholarships.
"We have three different programs going on this year to help us reach our goal," Kiwanis President Mike Shevlin said. "We have our peanut sales, the Fish Drop and we are soliciting funds from local businesses, organizations and friends."
The first project is the Kiwanis Peanut Sale.
Applications for club scholarships available
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island is once again providing several college scholarships to Pine Island students. In order to qualify for a scholarship, each student must meet the following criteria: be a resident of Pine Island or have attended Pine Island Elementary School.
The applicant must either be currently in the senior year of high school or a high school graduate. The applicant must also be in need of financial assistance.
Application forms are available at the following locations: Century 21 Office, 10191 Stringfellow Road, St. James City (just south of the 4-way stop), Pine Island Public Library on Russell Road at The Center or Northwest Regional Library on Chiquita Boulevard in Cape Coral.
The deadline for turning in the applications is May 3 at the Century 21 Office or they may be mailed (postmarked no later than May 3) to: Kiwanis Scholarship Chairman, P.O. Box 111, St. James City, FL 33956.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island is proud to offer scholarships every year to deserving island students who are furthering their education. This is one way the Kiwanis is able to return to the community some of the funds generated by the organization.
Please contact scholarship committee chairperson, Carlyn Herring 239-850-9613 or Tonya Player 239-313-8722 if you have any questions.
"This is the first year in which it has been used and is doing very well," Shevlin said.
The second program, the ever popular Fish Drop, will be held Sunday, March 12, at 12:30 p.m., at the 26th annual Mullet Tossing Championship sponsored by the Matlacha Mariners. The Mullet Toss will be at Matlacha Park. Fish Drop tickets are available from most members and also Century 21 Real Estate, 10191 Stringfellow Road; Greater Pine Island Water Association, 5281 Pine Island Road, and Raymond James Financial Services, 10571 Stringfellow Road.
The third fundraiser is where individuals and businesses provide scholarships directly to the students through the Kiwanis organization. This is also new and has been very successful.
"We have had wonderful response from the islanders," said Kiwanian John Cammick. "Everyone enjoys helping the kids."
Many individuals are choosing to provide an annual scholarship in the name of a loved one while others are only able to give this year and that is also helping.
"We don't know how much money we will have available, yet," Herring said. "We continue to work on it and will have it settled by our deadline for scholarship applications, which is May 6."
If you would like to help, you may call Shevlin or Herring at 283-1100, Robin Parmerlee at 558-2089 or Buzzy Phillips at 283-8977.