What better way to send our graduating high school seniors off to their respective colleges, than with a smile on their face and a check in their hand? That is exactly what happened on the night of April 16, 2013, at the Newport Beachside Resort during the 3rd Annual College Scholarships Awards Dinner for Sunny Isles Beach and Golden Beach Students sponsored by the Sunny Isles Beach Community School Trust.
Master of Ceremonies, Sunny Isles Beach Police Chief Fred Maas really did his own homework for this affair. Once applications were in, he took the time to get to know each of the applicants better. Using his keen investigative skills, he certainly did just that.
Surrounded by an Art Collection in the upstairs banquet room of the Newport Hotel, the Alonso and Tracy Mourning High Band serenaded guests as they arrived. The Sunny Isles Beach Honor Guard presented the Colors and longtime Sunny Isles Beach student volunteer Luz Cusnaider led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Jasmine Michaels.
With all of the formalities under way, Chief Fred Maas welcomed everyone and introduced outgoing Principal of Alonso and Tracy Mourning High Sally Alayon. She spoke fondly of her time at ATM as the founding principal and introduced her fellow teachers and administrators from both ATM and the Norman S. Edelcup / Sunny Isles Beach K-8.
Mayor Norman Edelcup congratulated the winners and introduced his Commission. The Kiwanis Board took the stage and introduced their scholarship award to community volunteer Luz Cusnaider for her outstanding achievements serving the Sunny Isles Beach community. Fund President Bob Welsh spoke of the benefits of donating to the Trust and the many projects they have completed since inception and introduced the evening’s guest speaker, Commander Brodes Hartley, US Navy.
Interspersed between those, Chief Maas announced the winners, two at a time to keep the suspense going throughout the evening. As he introduced each winner, he shared with the guests their background, their hobbies, their impressive GPA’s and their dreams for the future. By the end of the evening, everyone knew each of the scholarship recipients as though they had known them for years. Including the Golden Beach winners that were awarded by Golden Beach Vice Mayor Judy Lusskin.
The winners for this year are:
Members of the Sunny Isles Beach Community School Trust were on hand and did a wonderful job of support planning, and preparing for the night. Also in attendance were the honorable City Commissioners, Vice Mayor and the Mayor of Sunny Isles Beach as well as Vice Mayor Judy Lusskin and residents of Golden Beach who jointly participate in this event.
There were a host of other dignitaries, sponsors, special guests and residents as well as city officials including the City Manager and City Attorney. In essence, there were many, many friends to the City of Sunny Isles Beach Scholarship Program.
But probably the greatest group in attendance, those most moved and most grateful for the City and its program, were the parents and family members of the students. “GRATEFUL” to the point of tears and smiles and hugs, because for many, this is ALL the help they will get as they move on to their respective college careers.
Congratulations to all of our winners!