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HomeBusiness & CommunityLocal Organizations Award $10,000 in Scholarships

Local Organizations Award $10,000 in Scholarships

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Now that this school year is over and many graduates are looking forward to pursuing their education, one of the biggest challenges is finding the money for college. Thanks to the generosity of local organizations, many of these students will be able to cover at least some of their college expenses. Two such organizations are the Spring Hill Moose Lodge 521 and Stage West Playhouse.

The Spring Hill Moose Lodge and their Women’s Chapter 1765 had their awards ceremony on June 10th. These scholarships are called the Spring Hill Moose Lodge 521 Heart of the Community Scholarships. A total of four were awarded this year. The Lodge itself contributed $2,000 and the Women’s’ Chapter contributed $2,000.

“We have been awarding these scholarships for twelve years. The original idea for the scholarships came from our Board as a way to provide additional assistance and benefit to our community,” stated scholarship chairman Chuck Moehle.

This year there were thirteen qualified applicants who were judged on four categories: academic achievement, community service, extracurricular activities, and leadership. Out of those thirteen, the students chosen were Springstead High School graduates Kerri Dresser and Emma Wozniak and Weeki Wachee High School graduates Jasmine Tavares and Lillian Haun.

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Kerri plans to attend Gulf Coast University and major in Social Work. Emma is headed to Florida State University (FSU) and will major in Sports Medicine. Some of her extracurricular activities were cheerleading and track.

Jasmine Tavares will be going to FSU and study Law. While Lilian Haun will attend Pasco Hernando State College and study Neuroscience.

The Moose is an international organization of men and women dedicated to the care of young and old, bringing communities close together and celebrating life. They care for children and teens in need throughout the world at their Mooseheart Child City & School, a 1,000-acre campus, located 40 miles west of Chicago. The school dates back to 1913. The Moose organization also provides for its senior members at Moosehaven, a 72-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, Florida.

All told, the Moose has raised $70 million dollars for charitable giving. The lodge in Spring Hill alone contributed more than $100,000 to community service projects.

Besides serving the community, the Moose Lodge is also a social club where members can come for food and beverages, dances, and other activities, as well as just to enjoy each other’s company. This chapter has a total of approximately 870 members. In order to join you need to be nominated by one of the current members.

The Moose Lodge is located at 5214 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill. For more information, call 352-686-5666.

On June 12th, Stage West Playhouse held its scholarship award ceremony. The funds for these scholarships come from the 50/50 drawings they hold throughout the year. Because they had extra money to work with, the scholarship committee decided to award scholarships to returning recipients as well as first timers. Each recipient received $1,000.

Pam Dugle, head of the Scholarship Committee, announced the winners. Kevin Grumbley and Gianna Cristiano were first-time recipients.

Kevin could not be at the ceremony. However, he is going to pursue a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Musical Theater.

Gianna finished two years of high school in one year at Nature Coast Technical High School and is applying to the American Musical Drama Academy (AMDA) in New York City. She wants to earn a BFA in Musical Theater.

Angela Franklin, Shawna Hopper, Joy Evans and Katie Stinger are all renewals. Some have been active in Stage West for a number of years.

Angela graduated in 2019, but because of Covid, she took a break. Now, she’s working as an elementary school music and art teacher and going to college to work on her Master’s Degree. She’s attending the University of West Florida.

Shawna is going into her junior year at USF. She has a double major in Musical Theater and Communications. She’ll pursue her Master’s in Communications and work professionally in musical theater. Her ultimate dream is to open a children’s theater.

Joy graduated in 2022. She’s attending the University of North Georgia and working on her BFA in Theater Arts with a focus in Stage Management. She’d like to work a few years in theater and then return to her alma mater, Lecanto High School, and teach theater.

Katie’s graduated from Nature Coast High School and is now a sophomore at PHSC. After this coming school year, she’ll transfer to the University of South Florida (USF) and plans to major in Animal Biology.

(L-R) Emma Wozniak, Lillian Haun, Jasmin Tavares, (Not pictured: Kerri Dresser)
(L-R) Emma Wozniak, Lillian Haun, Jasmin Tavares, (Not pictured: Kerri Dresser)
Scholarship committee members (L-R) – Bill Balderson, Angie Balderson, Val Moehle, Chuck Moehle, Butch Robillard [Photo by Sarah Nachin]
Scholarship committee members (L-R) – Bill Balderson, Angie Balderson, Val Moehle, Chuck Moehle, Butch Robillard
[Photo by Sarah Nachin]

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