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Three Marco Island high school students received medals, certificates and scholarships at the April meeting of the Marco Island Daughters of the American Revolution at the Hideaway Beach Club.

"The focus of the national DAR is education, so what better way to demonstrate this than to meet and greet our Marco Island scholars," said DAR regent Karen Lombardi.

* Joanie Shields introduced the DAR Christopher Columbus Essay Contest winner, Andrah Sansberg-Mendoza, escorted by her father, Sandro. Andrah is the first Marco Island Academy student to win the award. Andrah is a straight-A student who loves science, especially robotics, and history.

"My favorite part of history," she says, "is learning about early civilizations."

Her award-winning essay was the account of a fictional passenger, 16-year old Florencia, on Christopher Columbus' historic 1492 voyage from Spain to the new world.

* Debbie Haeussler presented Lely JROTC Cadet Marissa Mengelkoch with the DAR medal for scholastic excellence and a monetary scholarship.

Marissa is a Lely sophomore with a 4.2 GPA. She plays softball, is a varsity cheerleader, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and teaches vacation Bible school.

Marissa read her essay titled, "JROTC, a Class Like No Other."

"In our JROTC class," she said, "we proclaim and I believe, 'I am an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet. I always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school and the Corps of Cadets. I am loyal and patriotic. I am the future of the United States of America.'"

* Lombardi introduced Lely student Maya Roux, who won the DAR 2015 scholarship.

Maya is an accomplished dancer in ballet, jazz and ballroom and also a children's dance instructor. She is Lely's junior class secretary, a varsity cheerleader and member of the National Honor Society. She has a 4.8 GPA, wants to study law, return to the Naples area and open her own law firm.

Maya's winning essay was titled, "What is Patriotism?" She included these remarks about her parents, Quentin and Hester Roux.

"I like to think that I am particularly patriotic, thanks to my parents. Twenty-one years ago, my parents came to America from South Africa with three suitcases in hand and hope in their hearts. They dreamed of providing a safe and successful life for the family that would follow and built themselves a new life here in Marco Island from the ground up ... I hope to continue my parents' American Dream and start my own. God bless the USA."

The meeting ended with a surprise for 95-year old Claudia Curle, a 34-year Marco DAR member. Members unveiled a birthday cake and presented a corsage.

More information

The Marco Island chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution holds its monthly luncheon meetings at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursdays of each month. It welcomes potential members and members from other chapters who are living in or visiting the area. Call Karen Lombardi, 394-0028.

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