LABELLE- A total of $25,000 in Scholarships has been awarded to 20 graduating high school seniors by the LaBelle Kiwanis Foundation at their 2021 Annual Scholarship Banquet.
During the banquet, door prizes were raffled off, and those students that didn’t win a door prize were given scratch off lottery tickets.
The wonderful door prizes were donated by local small businesses: Cottage Under The Oaks, The LaBelle Candle Co., and LaBelle Nail & Spa. Facility and decorations for the event were graciously provided by South West Florida PODS Angel Center Staff and Kiwanis Aktion Club. Log Cabin catered the event. Debbie Woodford brought beautifully decorated and delicious graduation cap cookies. Beverages were provided by Rev. Alonzo McKenzie
After words of encouragement were given, and everyone enjoyed a nice dinner, the scholarships were presented. The students that received 2021 scholarships from LaBelle Kiwanis are:
Stephanie Alvarado, Daniela Avil, Mia Castano, Gisselle Contreras, Yarisa Cortez, Maria Deras, Joel Garcia, Brianna Green, Karisia Guzman, Samantha Hernandez, Jacob Howard, Taylor Martin, Jenna McClain, Kyla Miller, Janna Morrissey, Eric Reyes, Kyleigh Stitt, Zoe Wells, Joshua White and Hector Zuniga.
The LaBelle Kiwanis scholarship committee consists of Darlene Soud, Karen Roach, Susan Williams and Rev. Alonzo McKenzie. All expressed how proud they were of the Class of 2021, and the unique, tough challenges the year presented.
“The scholarship committee enjoys meeting the students, hearing the accomplishments and their plans. We had several students this year that are going into interesting fields. The LaBelle Kiwanis Club wishes them the best of luck as they continue their educations or start their careers,” read a statement from the committee.
The students also spoke about their struggles and triumphs, as they accepted their scholarships. Some had lost loved ones to COVID-19, and all had felt the harshness of the pandemic. But, they went on to talk about their hopes for the future.
Their dreams were as diverse as the students themselves. Coming from different backgrounds, several said they were focused on medical school, nursing school, and others planned to go into construction management and welding.
The LaBelle Kiwanis Foundation has been awarding scholarships since 2008. The money for the scholarships is raised through their thrift store. Donations to, and purchases from the Kiwanis Thirft Store help to continue this and other programs with a direct, positive impact on the community. The store is located at 201 S. Bridge St. in LaBelle. For current sales and specials, check the calendar: https://www.labellekiwanis.com/thriftstore.html