BRISTOL - The Main Street Community Foundation awarded 166 scholarships to 137 students from 72 funds Monday at DoubleTree by Hilton.
The scholarships totaled more than $200,000 and were awarded to area students for a variety of criteria. Community leaders from cities and towns the foundation serves - Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott - were there to applaud and congratulate them.
Susan Sadecki, president and CEO of the Main Street Community Foundation, welcomed the guests and recipients and offered them congratulations and best wishes.
“It’s my honor and privilege to welcome all of you,” said Sadecki. “We have almost 250 people - either nobody felt like cooking tonight or everyone is just excited to be here for your special awards tonight. Each year at the Main Street Community Foundation we plan this special event to bring together the donors, families, business owners and individuals who established these scholarships with those benefiting from them. We congratulate each of you.”
Sadecki thanked the donors and event sponsors who “believe in the value of education” as well as the volunteers and Foundation board members who helped with the scholarship selection.
Sadecki also shared a bit about its history and whom it was established in memory of. She also introduced the recipients and mentioned where they were going to college and what they planned to study.
The numerous funds awarding scholarships included among them donations intended to assist students entering a variety of career fields.
The E. Bartlett Barnes Award of Journalism was founded in 1980 and transferred to the Main Street Community Foundation in 1999. It was established in the name of the former publisher of The Bristol Press, who Sadecki said had a “lifelong love of the community.” The scholarship is available to students in Bristol, Burlington or Plymouth who are studying journalism or creative writing. Alexander Mika and Liberta Rrahimi received the scholarship, with Rrahimi present to accept it.
The Bristol Police Scholarship, established in 1954, is available for Bristol residents from one of the city’s three high schools planning on entering a career in law enforcement and related fields. The award was given to John Duncan, of Bristol Central High School, who was also recently honored at last Friday’s Salute Dinner because he plans to enter the military upon his graduation.
Other grants were awarded on behalf of community organizations.
Sisters Amy and Jessica Bhagaloo, of Bristol, both received scholarships from the Bristol Lions Club. They were chosen not only for their grades but because they have volunteered for multiple years at the club’s annual pancake breakfast.
“I was very happy when I found out,” said Jessica Bhagaloo, who plans to become a pre-med student the University of New England.
“I feel really grateful; it’s truly appreciated,” said Amy Bhagaloo, who plans to study medical biology at the same school and go into dentistry.
Among the recipients for the Bristol Yale Club’s scholarship was Gabriella Williams, of Bristol, who plans to major in accounting and financing at Albertus Magnus College.
“I’m very excited that I got it; I wasn’t expecting to be selected,” she said.
The Yarde Metals Memorial Scholarship, established by management and employees of Yarde Metals, awarded grants to the children of employees, with preference given to those who had lost a parent or experienced financial hardship.
“This is the fourth year I’ve gotten it and next year is my last year in college,” said Carly Brunelle of Plainville. “I just finished the X-ray program at the University of Hartford.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.