Niagara Gazette — The LaSalle Educational Club will be celebrating 44 years of raising awareness that good grades bring rewards, at a banquet planned for Friday.
"We want to inspire children. We want them to understand that education does pay off," said Gloria Dolson, vice president of the club.
There will be 16 scholarships provided to local students ranging from $200 dollars to $1,000 dollars. Over the years the club has awarded $102,623 to 447 students.
"This helps the students to continue their education and gives the younger kids a learning opportunity to be out in the public eye and be a part of something bigger than they are," added Lexie Sanders, club president. The evening will include the participation of younger students from various schools, whose jobs will range from welcoming the guests to providing the invocation and the benediction.
Leaders of the organization, which began 20 years ago to help out children in municipal housing at Griffin Manor, say it is the only grassroots scholarship organization in the city.
The banquet will be held at 6 p.m. at Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center, 7708 Niagara Falls Blvd. The keynote speaker for the event is Buffalo City Court Justice James A. McLeod.
Along with the scholarship winners, the club will pay homage to four dedicated community recipients including Margaret Robideau, a teacher at Harry F. Abate Elementary School, Debrah Johnson, teacher at Cataract Elementary, Celestine Booze, co-pastor at Potters Church, and Craig Cauley, a pharmasist at Pine Pharmacy, for their unique ways of educating children and their contributions to mankind.
"They believe in the village and that it takes a village to raise a child. We are blessed to have such educators," said Dolson.
The following 16 students will be the recipients of the 2013 scholarships: Tyler Lattimore-Poole, Erin Sliwowski, Mark Grozio, LaSaree Wallace, Shawniece Nalls, Jasmine Ross, Craisuanda Paige, Breanna Leslie-Skye, Emily Sliwowski, Jalisha Kelley, Summer Saleh, Benjamin Mannarino, Sean Delles, Bradlee Wilson, Ashley Cheff and Diamond Hamilton.
The LaSalle Educational Club is making a special appeal to the community this year to help support the organization's efforts to assist students in their efforts to attend college, with the motto "it takes a village to raise a child."
Tickets are $35 dollars. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information call Lexie M. Sanders at 285-2965, Loretta Hamilton at 282-5435 or Linda Hohomann of the Niagara Falls Board of Education at 286-4205.