Written by Steve Prisament Tuesday, March 18, 2014 02:03 pm
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ATLANTIC CITY – More than $40,000 in scholarships were distributed to 24 students by the 200 Club of Atlantic and Cape May Counties Sunday, March 16.
Leonard Gray, who lived in Galloway but moved to North Jersey several years ago served as scholarship chairman for his 10th and last time at the 29th Annual Memorial Brunch at Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa.
According to Gray, in 10 years the process has evolved from one requiring five committee members spending about 100 hours each preparing mailings, evaluating entries and doing associated tasks to one person spending five hours – and obtaining three to four times the number of applicants.
Instead of mailings, the 200 Club now sends emails to a more comprehensive list, saving the cost of stationary and postage and increasing the target audience.
It also has a computer program to evaluate forms submitted by applicants.
The scholarship scoring algorithm is 32 percent based on need, 48 percent on academics and 20 percent on community service.
“This year, for the first time in the 29-year history of the club, we gave a name to the survivor scholarship,” Gray said. “It was named after New Jersey State Police Detective Albert J. Mallen Sr.”
Mallen’s widow, Peggy Mallen-Walczak, was instrumental in forming the local 200 Club after she received financial assistance from other 200 Clubs in New Jersey.
The recipient of the $5,000 Detective Albert J. Mallen Sr. Memorial Survivor Scholarship was Dara O. Baker who will be graduating from Middle Township High School.
Three $2,500 were awarded. The Dr. Roy Soloff Memorial Scholarship went to Shelby M. Thornton, who will be graduating from Wildwood High School; the Larry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship to
Kathryn V. McCallion, graduating from Wildwood Catholic High School; and the Sonny Schwartz Memorial Scholarship to Justin S. Goucher, graduating from Ocean City High School, $2,500.
Earning $1,500 scholarships were Kathleen M. Adams of Linwood, attending Seton Hall University; Meghan E. Adams of Linwood, graduating Mainland Regional High
School; Taylor C. Burns of Mays Landing, attending Towson University; Courtney J. Davis of Egg Harbor Township, graduating Egg Harbor Township High School; Blair J. Hendricks of Egg Harbor Township, graduating Egg Harbor Township High School; Patrick W. McMenamin of Longport, attending Wagner College; Emily R. Notaro of Northfield, attending the College of New Jersey; Emily Y. Olson of Northfield, graduating from Mainland Regional High School; Megan L. Petuskey of Mays Landing, attending Stevens Institute of Technology; Michael J. Petuskey of Mays Landing, attending Rutgers University; Bradley C. Super of Egg Harbor Township, attending Atlantic Cape Community College; and Jennifer C. Super of Egg Harbor Township, attending Richard Stockton College.
A total of $42,500 in scholarships was presented to 24 honorees chosen from 37 applicants.
In addition Atlantic County Sheriff's Officer Jackie Guischard, daughter of Lester Guischard who died while on duty, was presented with $1,000 toward her participation in the Police Unity Tour. She graduated from the police academy on Feb. 15, 2013, and will ride a bicycle to Washington, D.C. with a group to honor her father.
Based on scoring of entries, the top three scoring applicants get $2,500 and the rest $1,500 each.
A $5,000 award is given to a child of an officer who died in the line of duty. Regardless of their score, they get an automatic $5,000 when they apply.
Gray said it was time for him to surrender his post and for the organization to have a local scholarship chairman.
“I intend to remain a member and plan to continue to attend the local event,” Gray said.
He told the audience he wished he could share some excerpts from the applications.
“In their essays, it’s more than why they should get a scholarship,” Gray said, “You would be surprised at home many of our applicants say that they’re proud of you – their parents, uncles and others who have influenced them.”
200 Club President Joseph Corbo thanked Gray for his decade of service.
“We thank you for your personal dedication and commitment,” Corbo said.
Photos by Shelby Wessner