St. Patrick Parade committee awards $10,000 in scholarships
Funds will help students pay Catholic school tuition
The Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee does more than just put together a parade every March.
Under the leadership of President Frankie Marra, the committee has expanded its longstanding mission of promoting the cultural contributions that Irish-Americans have made to Bay Ridge. The committee is now also promoting Catholic education as a way of honoring St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Marra and the committee recently announced the introduction of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick Parade Education Fund, a program created to support Catholic education.
The education program has awarded merit-based scholarships to Catholic school eighth graders who recently graduated and are headed to Catholic high schools.
Scholarship winners and their schools are Ashley Cepeda and Theresa Davidson (Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy of Brooklyn); Emily Campbell and Conor Friedle (Holy Angels Catholic Academy); Jillian Howard and Helen El-Achkar (St. Patrick Catholic Academy); Maria Fallah and Michael Fannon (St. Anselm Catholic Academy); and Julie Canny and John Lavelle (St. Ephrem School).
Each student was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
“The idea behind it is to promote Catholic education,” Marra told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The students have to make a commitment to go to a Catholic high school. The check is written to the high school.”
Marra attended the Holy Angels Catholic Academy graduation and announced the scholarship winners.
The scholarship funds can go toward tuition or can be used to purchase school supplies.
The criteria the committee used to decide which students to give the scholarships to included educational achievements, as well as participation in community-related service activities.
The scholarship funds were generated through fundraising drives sponsored by the committee, including raffles and a matching fund program in which individuals donated money to match what the committee raised.
“The only thing that surprised me was how quickly we were able to get the matching funds,” Marra said. “People really stepped up in a big way.”
The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy of Brooklyn matching donations were made possible by Robert and Judy Rose. Marie Moloney provided the matching funds for Holy Angels Catholic Academy scholarships. The matching funds for the St. Ephrem School winners were donated by The Canny Brothers Band. Approved Oil Inc. gave matching funds for St. Patrick Catholic Academy. The St. Anselm Catholic Academy matching donations came from Mary Clavin.
The 2015 Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place on March 22 on Third Avenue. Plans are already underway for the 2016 parade.
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