The annual Robert and Janice Barensfeld Fellowships were awarded Monday at the Ellwood City Historical Society.
Emily Fox of Riverside High School and Mark VanHorn of Lincoln High School were the graduating seniors who each won the scholarships.
The meeting was opened by President Everett Bleakney, who welcomed everyone in attendance to an exciting evening. Guy Prestia, a World War II veteran, leads the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. A thank you card from Guy to the History Center was read for the Centre’s 100th birthday celebration. A congratulatory letter from President Biden delivered to Guy was shown
Everett then gave some statistics on the scholarship program. This is the 23rd year that scholarships have been awarded to 46 senior graduates and a total of $69,000.00. The scholarship committee, consisting of Kaye Houk, Barbara Mastropietro and Mary May, was introduced. Briefly, the process of selecting the winning essays was explained.
Robert Morabito then introduced Riverside graduate Emily Fox. She is the daughter of Jerome and Tracy Fox. His winning essay was titled “Rock Point Park: An Evolving Park for the People.” Emily is a straight A student, member of the National Honor Society and has obtained various other academic awards. Emily has been captain of the Riverside High School women’s tennis team for two years. Emily has remained active in Riverside as an elementary tutor, Bible Club president, chamber choir singer, worship leader for her church. She plans to attend Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania, to major in English and minor in science, focusing on technical writing.
Morabito then introduced Mark VanHorn, a senior from Lincoln High School. Mark Allen VanHorn, son of Randy VanHorn and Renee Pitrelli of Ellwood, wrote his essay titled “The Rock Point Park Story”. Mark is a senior at Lincoln High School where he participates in extracurricular activities including the Musical, Marching Band, Jazz Band, National Honor Society and six other clubs. Mark was selected for honors, district, regional, and state choirs through auditions, and was lucky enough to play Willy Wonka in his high school production “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” He loves music and plans to continue learning and practicing music throughout his college and adult life. In addition to music, Mark excels in academics. Currently number one in his class, he enjoys all subjects at school, his favorite being arithmetic. Mark will be attending Grove City College in the fall to study electrical engineering. After graduating from Grove City College, he would like to either continue his studies at another institution or start working in his field with computer equipment.
Anna Barensfeld was then introduced to present the seniors with their awards. Anna said her grandparents, Robert and Janice, were avid historians and also believed in seeing students get higher education. Anna said she was proud to see scholarships continue through the History Society. She remarked that the two students, who received the awards this evening, deserved their congratulations.
The Historical Society then presented the two graduates with additional gifts. A cake representing the two high schools was served to everyone.