Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation Distributes Awards

Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation Distributes $167,325

Submitted by Cathy Cvetovich

In its 53nd year the Scotch Plains Fanwood Scholarship Foundation continues to fulfill its many, varied partnerships with community members, community organizations and individuals by distributing $167,325 in scholarship aid to 103 students.

Community members contributed to the Dollars for Students Campaign, used to distribute $23,000 among high school and college students who demonstrated both academic achievement and financial need. Some scholarships are named in honor of members of the Foundation (in parentheses). The High School students are: Katherine Agnello, Christopher Bagdonas (John Lawson), Thomas Brown (Henry Schwiering), Hope Edwards (Pearl Rich), Daniel Resnicoff (Recipient Funded), and Dakota Verrico (Eleanor Kramps). The college students are Moustafa Amer, Caroline English, Rachel Lambert, Nicholas Stone (Lee Stein), Christine Vilarino, Jessica Vilarino, Juliana Wagner, Connor Wirth, and Jordan Wolman (Joseph Nagy).

Several individuals and families have entrusted funds to the Foundation’s stewardship, and this year the following students have benefited from such partnership: Adrian Andrews Memorial, Nick Dionisio; George Bryan Memorial, Pedro Garcia; Karen and Joseph Franzone Memorial, Karen Degnan; William and Ruth Linge Memorial, Anthony Vallejo and Isabella Verga; William McGinn Memorial, Chloe Nelson; Courtney Metzger Memorial, Olivia Hausle; James O’Hara Powers Memorial, Jonathon Koseoglu and Morgan Wilson; Dr. Muriel Ramsden Memorial, Payton Howell; Terry and Arlene Riegel Scholarship Fund, Isaac Wong; James Sochan Memorial, Juliet Trifiro; Jeffrey Spring Memorial, Alex Rodriguez; Franklin Maine and Helen McConnell Spooner, Gianna Calligy; Mary Carolyn Werts Wood Class of 1951 Memorial, Emely Diaz. The Class of 1960 Memorial Scholarship funds non-academic expenses such as room and board at Rutgers University for four years: Jonathan Ramos (2019), Thomas Bruckman (2018) and Jacob Brown (2017).

Other individuals and community organizations delegate to the Foundation’s dedicated Screening Committee the details of scrutinizing and determining the year’s most deserving students who also meet their varied criteria. These partners and the students honored by their scholarships are: Besson Family Memorial, Christopher Sekiya and Sydney Jenkinson; Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill, James Cerini; Mauro and Rulene DiFrancesco, Rachel Rowen; Mauro and Rulene DiFrancesco St. Bartholomew Student, Patricia Bolivar; Camille Dinizo Memorial, Jeffrey Lapidus; Frank & Eileen DiNizo Memorial, Juliet Trifiro; Donna Doremus Memorial, Ashley Diamond; Friday’s Place, Amy Magrino; Frank Fumosa Memorial, Stephen Oduro; Girl Scouts, Anita Dazzo; Gordon Memorial Lacrosse, Anthony Porter and Kaitlyn Jackmin; Kristi Hawkins Memorial, Ryan Ackerman; Doris Koues Memorial, Mary Fossaceca; John and Marie Losavio Memorial, Sarah Gorman; John J. Maggs Memorial, Raina Jablon; Tom Montagna (Follow Your Dream), James Bagdonas; Moore-Skillman, Tierra Buissereth and Jessica Edelman; Katherine Newcomer Memorial, Jacqueline Stovall; Lynn Payne Memorial, Julia Poeschl; Dr. Robert V. Scalera, Josiah Baik; LaVerne Schnell Memorial, Katyana Avila; Nancy Hart Schott Memorial, Mary Fossaceca; School One Retired Elementary Educators and Staff, Riley DeProspero; Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ice Hockey Association, Timothy Lamberta; SPF Lacrosse Club Scholarship, Ryan Johnson and Abigail Saperstein; SPFHS Italian Club, Ashley Diamond; SPFHS Italian Honor Society, Isabella Verga and Lina Suriano Memorial, Kara Bush.

One of our deepest partnerships is with the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club and the Rotary-Garbe Foundation who administer the funds for the following scholarships: Rotary Garbe Foundation, awarded for four years to Tyler Dvorin, Joshua Venick and Giancarlo Castro (2019); Rosella Cuomo, Rhiannon Leonardo, and Patrick Gannon (2018); Lukas Stein, Ethan Cheung and Marc Occhipinti (2017); Matthew Auda, Alexander Guevera, Maxwell Kearns and Jacob Brown (2016); William Mullin Memorial, awarded for four years, Massimo Modica (2019), Julia Dunlap (2018), Taylor Sirchio (2017), and Mariel Weigel (2016); Ethel Perkins Memorial, awarded for four years, Saniya Dalvi (2019), Niva Patel (2018), Brianna Sorrentino (2017) and Noah Bernstein (2016); David Ringle Memorial Valedictorian Award, Michael Dieu and Salutatorian Award, Melanie Litwin; Robert Kraus Memorial, William Ricci, Jr. and Dr. Richard Dobyns Turnaround Award, Peter Sailsman.

Our Foundation began in 1966 with a donation from the SPFHS PTA – a partnership which flourishes to this day. Every PTA in the school district contributes at least two scholarships to graduates who have attended their schools. In addition, the Scholarship Chairperson for each PTA serves on the Foundation’s Screening Committee. The PTA Council scholarships: Manya Unger to William Gale, Dr. Margaret Hayes to Sara Greene, Dr. Carol Choye to Sarah Gorman and Health and Wellness to Stefanie DeVizio; SPFHS PTA scholarships: Robert Adams, Jr. to Melanie Litwin and Dr. Terry K. Riegel to Rae Mikula; Park Middle School McTB scholarships: John Kayser and Jennifer Schug; Terrill Middle School John C. Foulks scholarships: Ben Kuperschmid and John Huby; Brunner Elementary scholarships: Dr. Albert DeSousa Memorial to Victoria O’Connor and Brunner PTA to Julia Lomonte and Maggie Traina; J. Ackerman Coles Elementary scholarships: Carl M. Kumpf to Sophia Iacona, Carol Patten Memorial to Emily Smulewitz and Michelle Crisafulli to Varun Sangal; Evergreen Elementary scholarships: Dr. Beverlee Kaminetzky to Kara Schramm, Kehs-Aakjer Memorial to Patrick O’Brien and Mary “Chickie” Giraud Memorial to Kyle Burton; McGinn Elementary Mariana Cassidy Excellence Awards to Drew Burfeindt and Anita Dazzo; and School One Elementary scholarships: James V. Cerasa to Sarah Citarella and Jeffrey Grysko to Elena Wollman.

Congratulations to these outstanding scholars and our deepest thanks to all our partners who have stood by us for 53 years. For further information, please visit our website or contact the Foundation’s president, Mary Ball Cappio at 908-889-8155, or

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