PAINESVILLE – Each year there are four students from the Painesville area who are assisted in their quest for higher education with scholarships from the Painesville Area Service Society (PASS).
Although not a large organization, it does much good with its scholarships.
This year they were awarded at a June 7 luncheon held at Morley Library
where PASS President Mary Frances Burns is also the library director.
“We morphed from the Painesville Kiwanis Club (in 2007),” she said. “We decided, rather than send $80 of our $100 in dues downstate to support and international organization that the need was here and we’d rather keep our money here.”
She said anyone who was interested in joining the organization, which meets every Thursday at Chester’s Legacy Tavern for lunch, could call her at the library.
John Weiss, chairman of the PASS Scholarship Committee, noted some of the scholarships are named after Kiwanis and PASS members who have passed on and gave some brief information about who they were.
“You’re among the 88 graduates that (received scholarships),” he said. “Fifty-seven thousand, six hundred dollars in scholarships have gone out in the last 23 years.”
Burns said this was the first year in some time that four scholarships were being awarded.
Andrew Bodi of Fairport Harding High School was the recipient of the James Dawson Scholarship.
“Andrew is described as having a great work ethic. He goes above and beyond what is expected and is described as having strong leadership skills,” Burns said. “Andrew is the first winner of the James Dawson Scholarship, named after a recently deceased PASS member.”
Bodi thanked everyone and said Fairport had allowed him to be successful and graduate with about a 4.0 average.
“While I was at Lake Erie I was able to gain 54 credit hours that I will transfer to Ohio State next year,” he said. “What I’m most proud of is the Salutatorian I was given.”
He received nine varsity letters, five Chagrin Valley Conference honorable mentions, and other awards for baseball, basketball, golf and football. He was captain of the golf and baseball teams his senior year.
Bodi plans to seek a master’s in mechanical engineering and hopes to one day work for an aeronautics company.
Ann Nelson of Riverside High School was the recipient of the Eb and Mary Blakely Scholarship.
“Ann is described as a person who has a great enthusiasm for life,” Burns said. “She is a team builder, highly motivated and sets a positive example for other students …”
She participates in track, 4-H and community service projects.
Since Ann was unable to attend, her mother Ellen accepted in her name.
“Ann is the fifth of six children and has seen her older siblings go to school; we had four in college at one time,” Nelson said. “She went to Lakeland for two years and did get her associate’s degree. She will go to Akron with two years done so she’ll graduate with her business degree in two years.”
Nelson said Ann loved sports and was a leader among her peers because of her “vibrance.”
Oscar Ambris of Harvey High School was the recipient of the Painesville Area Service Society Scholarship.
“Oscar is described by his references as being a class act who has an amazing work ethic,” Burns said. “He is constantly looking for new opportunities to challenge himself.”
He has earned the respect of his teachers as well as his peers.
Ambris thanked everyone and said he too had attended Lakeland while still at Harvey and intended to attend the College of Wooster to study business.
John Wainwright was awarded the Academic Scholarship in memory of Charles P. and Marie U. Baker.
“John is described as a very smart, articulate student having high levels of integrity, responsibility and ambition,” Burns said. “He is willing to help other students and has demonstrated himself as both as a service leader and mentor who has helped others with ACT preparation, English language and sports skills.”
Wainwright said he will attend Ohio Wesleyan next year and is thinking of studying sociology and political science, but admitted that could change. He thanked the PASS members for the scholarship.
“On the athletic field I got 12 varsity letters over the past four years,” he said. “I think I’m the only Harvey athlete ever to get eight varsity letters in the same season.”
He was captain of several different teams and was First Team All-CVC in soccer and maintained a weighted GPA of 4.3 and regular GPA of 3.8.
“I’d like to thank all our scholars’ families for raising such fine individuals,” Burns said.
She asked them all to contact PASS in the future and let them know how they were doing, noting no award winners in the past have done so.