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December 4, 2020


This article originally appeared in the December 4, 2020 issue of The Daily Times Chronicle


The Winchester Scholarship Foundation recently completed its 75th year and began its 76th year by awarding $498,100 to 133 Winchester High School graduates. Current year awards compare with $484,700 awarded to 142 students during the previous academic year. During the past five years 665 scholarships totaling $2,325,432 have been awarded. 


The Winchester High School Class of 2020 received 42 scholarships totaling $155,000. Continuing college students received eighty-two awards. Support of graduate education continues to grow and reached  nine students. In contrast to this year’s graduate awards, in 2003 only one student received a graduate award.


Today’s totals compare to our initial full year, 1946, when 10 scholarships totaling $2,650 were awarded. Forty years later 58 scholarships totaling $69,376 were awarded.


Multiple sources of funds allowed the Scholarship Committee composed of six Winchester residents, Stephanie Altavilla, Michael Houlahan, Karen Garrett, Bernadette Kearney, Tom Howley and Heidi Rosenfeld to reach near-record awards. The greatest source of funds is income from 50 endowed funds created during the past forty years. The majority of the endowed funds were created to recognize individual or organization’s contributions to Winchester.


To create an endowed fund, a gift of $10,000 is necessary. Funds have been created to honor Winchester educators such as Mary Jean Weylman, Mim Reid and Frank Finigan. WHS Classes (1960, 1962 and 2010) have created scholarship funds to recognize the impact of their four high school years on their lives. Multiple funds have also been created to honor town leaders and institutions.


During the past year, two new endowed funds were created. A gift from the JoAnn DeNapoli Charitable Foundation created the JoAnn Roberto Luongo DeNapoli Scholarship Fund. JoAnn lived in Winchester for most of her life until she died in 2015 at age 95. JoAnn’s family was the owner of the Luongo Vegetable Farm from 1920 to 2000 on the property that is now the location of the Willows Condominiums.


A second fund was created by a gift from The Friends of Art organization. The Friends of Art was established in 2000 to encourage excellence in and an appreciation of art among the residents of Winchester, to promote active participation in art, and to recognize achievement in art. When interest waned, the group disbanded and turned over its Treasury to the WSF to be used toward the support of the recipient’s further art education,


Trustees composed of three Winchester residents manage the WSF’s endowed funds. The WSF endowed funds are a positive way to recognize the contributions of individuals or institutions to the life of Winchester.

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