Sunrise Rotary awards scholarships, gifts

Samantha Bruscini from Everglades City receives a scholarship from Craig Woodward.

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise recently completed its award of annual college scholarships to graduating high school seniors. The club’s scholarship committee annually seeks applications from all of the local high schools. Its scholarship committee was chaired this year by Debra Shanahan, who explained “the process can be difficult. We got a lot of great applications on behalf of outstanding students. All of them were deserving, but we only have limited resources and have to pick those we thought were most deserving.”

The club finalizes its awards at the annual Scholarship Night held by each local high school. The 2019 scholarship recipients are:

  • Everglades City: Samantha Bruscini-Glenellen, Woodward scholarship ($4,000)
  • Lely High School: Morgan Broxson, James Pearson scholarship ($4,000)
  • Marco Island Academy: Emily Boxma, Herbert R. Savage scholarship ($4,000)
  • Marco Island Academy: Nicole Brunson, John Kenney scholarship ($4,000)
  • Marco Island Academy: Finleigh Fitton, Richard S. Shanahan Scholarship ($4,000)
  • Marco Island Academy: Morgan Jones, Interact Merit Award ($1,000) 

In addition to awarding scholarships, the club continued its donations to local charities. At recent Club meetings, a check for $500 was presented to Stef Stefanides for Christmas Island Style. The club also presented Hyla Crane with a $1,000 donation to support summer programs for Island youth at Center for the Arts. St. Mathew’s House was the recipient of a $500 donation to benefit its food and shelter efforts on behalf of the homeless. Richard Stoltenborg received a $500 donation for Marco Island Boxing Club and Marco Island Academy was given $3,000.

Teen Court was a recipient of $1,000 grant for scholarship. Teen Court is a diversion program for qualified first-time juvenile offenders who admitted guilt for crimes ranging from misdemeanors up to third degree felonies. The cases are heard in Teen Court were high school students prosecute, defend and even serve as jurors. Sunrise Rotary awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Sarah Holland, for her assistance in the Teen Court program for more than two years.   

“We do a lot of fundraising and those funds are used to better our community,” said Tom Wagor, club president. “The donations we make are a reflection of the great community involvement by our members.”

Sunrise Rotary has made significant additional donations to other organizations including Gift of Life, American Cancer Society and Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio. Club member Bill Morris chairs Marco Island Meals of Hope, which also receives volunteer and substantial financial support from the Club.

The Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise meets at Stonewall’s American Bistro on Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. To become a Rotarian or for further information about the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise and its activities, please contact Bill Morris at or visit the Rotary Club of Marco Island Sunrise website at