2014 Scholarship Recipients Honored at Reception

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2014 Scholarship Recipients Honored at Reception

Last evening, the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation co-hosted the annual Today’s Scholars & Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Reception with the Beazley Foundation. The event was held at the Bide-A-Wee golf course in Portsmouth, where dozens of high school graduates from Hampton Roads were recognized for their accomplishments.

Recipients, families, donors, and board members gathered in the course’s pavilion, escaping the sprinkling, summer rain. Inside, many round tables were spread out across the room, each one adorned in navy blue linens and marked with a blue hydrangea centerpiece. The first half of the reception allowed the guests to mingle — recipients were able to meet and thank their scholarship donors. Next, they enjoyed a buffet style dinner consisting of BBQ, meatballs, fruit, chicken nuggets, and sweets.

Thomas Wood, President of the SEVACF Board of Directors, presided over the reception, giving the opening and closing remarks. Richard Wentz, Executive Director of the Portsmouth YMCA and Secretary of the SEVACF Board of Directors, was the guest speaker. In his speech, he stressed the importance of giving back to our community and congratulated the recipients on their academic achievements, while reminding them that who they are as people is what truly matters.

“I wish an interview would have been part of the scholarship selection process, because I’ve had the chance to talk with many of you tonight and I’m just so impressed by all the personality and grace that you show,” he expressed.

When it was time to honor the students, the Honorable Judge Richard Bray announced the Beazley Foundation’s scholarship winners, calling them to the stage for pictures. Then, Ward Robinett, SEVACF CEO, spoke about each of the Foundation’s scholarships and asked their respective recipients to come forward to be acknowledged for their hard work.

Among the present recipients were Walter Neeley-Williams, Churchland High School track star, Raiquan Thomas, singing prodigy and future James Madison University music student, and many more outstanding young people.

“Working on this event has given me an opportunity to be actively involved in carrying on a legacy that was important to my father — giving back to the community through helping kids get a college education,” shared Donna Saffold, Reception Coordinator. “It was a great way for Alisa Smith, my partner in putting the event together, and I to foster a connection between the recipients and the donors.”

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