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Dec 7, 2018 12:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Lions Club Announces $50,000 Scholarship Drive

Dr. Scarlett Magda and Paul Zaykowski outside of the Pierson High School. JON WINKLER
Dec 11, 2018 2:19 PM

The Sag Harbor Lions Club is looking to further its support of Pierson High School seniors by raising more money for its annual scholarship—and handing out more to deserving college-bound seniors, in addition to helping some needy students go on their eighth grade trips.

The community group hosted a reception on Saturday at the American Hotel to introduce its “We Serve” scholarship drive. The Lions Club is trying to raise its annual scholarship for graduating students at Pierson from $5,000 to $50,000.

Dr. Scarlett Magda, co-chair of the scholarship fund, worked with Lions Club President Tony Lawless to determine the students’ need for more money to cover the high tuition at today’s colleges.

“When Paul asked if I could help, I reviewed the history of the scholarship and realized that tuition had exponentially increased, so our scholarship had to exponentially increase,” Dr. Magda said.

The “Paul” who asked for help was Lions Club member Paul Zaykowski, who graduated from Pierson in 1973 and was a recipient of the club’s scholarship when it was merely $1,500. It went toward his education at Bentley University.

“Tuition for Bentley was around $5,000 back then—tuition at private schools today range from $50,000 to $80,000,” Mr. Zaykowski said on Thursday, December 6. “Last year’s recipient, Thomas Brooks, got $2,500, which is a nice chunk of change, but we wanted to do more.”

Mr. Zaykowski explained that the $50,000 goal is meant to be divided up among three recipients. The most qualified will receive $20,000, while the other two graduates would each receive $10,000. That $40,000 total will be paid directly to the recipients’ colleges over a span of four years.

The use of the remaining $10,000 came out of a meeting between the club’s scholarship committee and Pierson school officials in October. Mr. Zaykowski said that the discussions from the meeting raised the idea that the money could be used for eighth grade students who can’t afford to participate in the annual class trips. “There are a lot of families out here with a lot of money, but several with not so much,” he said. “We felt that this was important.”

“The meeting was to understand what the needs of the school are for the future, such as students going on trips to other countries,” Dr. Magda said. “Sometimes there aren’t enough personal finances for people to go on these trips.

“I remember going to Québec, Canada, for my eighth grade trip, and how important that was for me. Now, we’re able to help an entire class do something—and that’s a galvanizing experience.”

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