By Angela Love -April 18, 2017
Two very proud grandfathers were in the audience when Marine Corps League Detachment 1267 presented their annual scholarships to six future leaders at their Monday night meeting at Bacall Recreation Center. The Marine Corps League has been presenting scholarships for 11 years running. This year they were able to double the amounts, presenting each recipient with a $1,000 scholarship.
Two years ago the League started allowing members’ grandchildren to apply for the scholarships. This year, two members’ granddaughters were among the six selected out of the sixteen applications received.
“We look for more than grade point average,” said Colonel Fred Geier, chairman of the scholarship committee. “We also look for leadership potential. Being Marines we know a thing or two about leadership. We are looking for that diamond in the rough so to speak that has the potential to become a community leader, a leader in the military or maybe even politics, an early blooming leader.”
Tom Schwettman and Bill Statleman accepted the scholarships on behalf of their granddaughters who live out-of-state. Maggie Schwettman will be attending the University of Cincinnati majoring in Special Education.
“I am so proud of her,” said Schwettman. “She’s a gal that is always giving. She does mission work, volunteers and helps out with the Special Olympics; it is nice to see her receiving.” Statelman is equally proud of his granddaughter Kate who lives in Virginia and will be attending Hollins College.
“She is going to be majoring in music and theater,” said Statelman. “She is very active in theater both at her high school and out in the community where she lives.”
The other four recipients all seniors at The Villages Charter High School besides having impressive GPAs will graduate from high school having already earned an associate’s degree. Christelle Lorenzo, will attend the University of South Florida to earn a degree in Clinical Pharmacy. Also, attending the University of South Florida, Haley Mariner plans to pursue Bio-Medical Engineering. Madison McDonough plans to major in Business Management at the University of Tampa. Carlie Taylor will attend the University of Florida majoring in Bio-Chemistry with plans to go to medical school or into research.
Katelin Mariner, a 2012 scholarship recipient, was in the audience to support her sister Haley. Katelin recently earned a Master’s Degree in Communications and is a lieutenant in the military; she spoke to the Marine Corp League members to thank them and as Colonel Geier put it, so the members could see “the fruits of our labors.” The League earns the money for the scholarships by holding an annual night golf tournament.
The Villages Marine Corps League meets every third Monday at 7 p.m. at the Bacall Recreation Center. The League is very active in charitable causes and welcomes former Marines and Corpsmen to join. For more information contact Fred Geier at 352-751-2591.