72 scholars get Snow scholarships

It was an emotional evening for some benefactors as 72 new college freshman received scholarships at the annual George Snow Scholarship Fund Awards Reception.

Many scholarships are memorials to well-known people like singer Nat King Cole and his wife Maria Cole, and locals Ann L. Chew, Dominick Casso, Bruce Cryan, Lily Brentano and former Boca Raton Airport manager Ken A. Day. Benefactor Marleen Forkas continues to endow the American Dream Scholarship in hers and her late husband Harold’s name.

So when families and other loved ones stepped forward for the presentations, fund president Tim Snow remembered their place in the community. “He had a huge and thoughtful heart and we miss so much about him,” Snow said about Fred Astaire Dance Studio co-owner Jean-Marc Casanave. The studio is a partner in Snow’s major fundraiser Boca’s Ballroom Battle every summer. Elizabeth Faber received the scholarship as a new dance major at The Juilliard School, presented by Jean-Marc’s widow Pam Casanave.

The 112 Fund in Memory of Ernie J. Borowsky Scholarship went to Andres Parada, a Spanish River High School graduate taking public relations at Lafayette College. The presenter was Brian Altschuler, co-chairman of the ninth annual Boca’s Ballroom Battle on Aug. 20. “I told them what I was looking for in a scholar,” Altschuler said afterward.

In all, some 72 scholars received funds, some several scholarships to help defray costs for their college plans. Among them were JonPaul Nesheiwat, a music and performance major at Lynn University, and Rebekka Behr, taking pre-med at Florida State. Brandon Augustin, headed to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, received scholarships from the airport and Sons of Italy Sgt. F.M. Bonanno Lodge. “Brandon is an incredible student and wants to be a fighter pilot,” said lodge president Edmundo Catania. Their scholarship, among others, is administered by the George Snow fund.

Scholarships are also funded by companies like Auto Nation and nonprofits like P.R.O.P.E.L. and local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs. Several were given to employees’ children, including two from Boca West Country Club.

In all, $687,482.68 in scholarships, a huge duffle bag of gifts and other freshman services were given away at the fund’s June 1 dinner and presentation at their office in the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center.

“This group of achievers…are often survivors of adverse circumstances that made them stronger,” Snow told the audience.

The foundation was started and named 34 years ago for his late father, George Snow, he said.

The Boca businessman was killed in a helicopter crash with three network newsmen in 1980. Wreckage was sighted off the Bahamas, according to the wire services, but Snow was never found.