By Dot Bergin

More than 200 Bedford graduating high school seniors were awarded scholarships on May 29 at the annual CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars Awards night, emceed by Mike Rosenberg, whose genial wit as he handed out the awards delighted students, parents, and friends alike.

The ceremony took place at the Bedford Doubletree Hilton Hotel, and you can watch it here, as filmed by Bedford TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pUCdBs4sCY&t=7043s and, by clicking this link, you’ll head to Facebook where you can see all 267 of Bedford Snapshots’ event images.

Among the scholarship awards announced during the evening:

Congratulations to all the recipients, and thank you to all those who support CSF, making the awards possible.

Announcing A New Scholarship

Sarah Dorer (l) and Christine Anderson as the Sarah Dorer Scholarship was awarded – Image (c) Jeff JHO Hoyland, 2019 all rights reserved

A surprise announcement came at 33 minutes into the ceremony when Chris Anderson called Sarah Dorer to the podium. In early May, when news of her retirement came to parents via a ‘backpack’ message from the schools, organizers Jenn Cunningham and Anderson got busy.

“My original note, on May 3,” wrote Cunningham, “simply read, “It’s not often that I tear up while reading the home-school correspondence folder, but I was definitely choking up over my morning coffee today! Mrs. Dorer is such a treasure. Is there any interest in organizing some sort of a group gift for her?”

The project quickly took on a life of its own, and a fully-funded scholarship will be awarded for the first time in May, 2020. The CSF fundraising page has a summation, if one is possible, of all she has done for us: “Sarah Dorer has been a pillar of the Bedford community and the Bedford schools for 23 years and has taught an entire generation of students to love not only math, but the process of learning, striving, and challenging yourself to think in new and unexpected ways.”

To learn more about Sarah, click this link to read an interview by Dot Bergin.  If you would like to contribute to the Sarah Dorer scholarship, please click this link, http://bit.ly/2WDnwEn, or mail a check to  CSF/Bedford Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 585, Bedford, MA 01730, and indicate in the memo line it’s for “Sarah Dorer Scholarship.”

Learn More about CSF

CSF Dollars for Scholars has been active in Bedford since 1965 and has awarded more than $2.4 million in scholarship awards to 3100 students. Eligibility is broad-based:  Any senior graduating from Bedford High School or any Bedford or Hanscom Air Force Base resident graduating from another secondary school, completing home-schooling, or completing GED requirements may apply, provided the student will be attending a four-year college, two-year college, or technical or vocational school.

What began 54 years ago as a relatively small program has now grown into a major undertaking, with dozens of volunteers working throughout the year to raise funds, read students’ applications, and manage the distribution of the awards.  Volunteer help is always welcome. CSF recently lost one of its most dedicated workers, with the death of Sal Pomponi in May 2019.  His wife, Alma Pomponi, continues to work tirelessly with CSF and was one of the presenters at the awards night.

Scholarships are funded through volunteer efforts. Each spring, Dollars for Scholars holds a Phone-a-thon, staffed by high school students working from a phone bank at Mitre Corporation. This is the principal source of funds for scholarships. The 2019 Phone-a-thon, which contacted Bedford and Hanscom community residents,  raised more than $39,000.  Another successful fundraiser is the annual CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars Trivia night, an evening of fun and lively competition among local teams made up of school committee members, CSF Board members, Selectmen, and friends and neighbors.

Local businesses, civic, professional, and religious organizations, and community associations of all types have created scholarships.  A  growing number of families have funded scholarships in honor of or in memory of a family member. Recent scholarships have honored retired Town Manager Rick Reed and beloved teacher Sarah Dorer (see inset.)

A permanently endowed scholarship requires funding of $5,000.  A broad-based group of volunteers screens applications and works tirelessly in the spring to select recipients. For more information, contact CSF President Jean Segal or visit the website:  http://www.bedfordma.dollarsforscholars.org/index.php?section=chapterWebsite&action=main&fwID=1269

 

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