Coseglia Scholarships awarded

Staff Report

6/18/19

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic high school graduates with the 2019 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Samuel Berjarano of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Scholastica Egwakhide of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; Christopher Twargoski of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and Olivia Burke of Donahue Academy in Ave Maria.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic high school graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,117 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the eighth year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded.

Egwakhide, who will be studying to become a nurse at Regis College, wrote in her essay that: “I believe that a Catholic education changed my life for the better and helped me to come to a better understanding of myself. This scholarship will enable me to continue my search in life and give me the opportunity to continue my Catholic education at Regis College in the fall.”

With plans to study computer science at the University of Central Florida, Berjarano wrote: “I have been blessed to be raised in a Catholic family where faith plays an important role in our lives. By receiving the Coseglia Scholarship, I would be given a ticket to my own future; a way to attend university without worrying about needing to get into debt just to pursue my goals.”

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse said the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church by investing in the education of our youth.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

New Foundation endowment fund to help Catholic Charities program

Staff Report

Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf recently joined a rapidly growing list of donors who have chosen to partner with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida to help create their Catholic Legacies. By establishing an endowment fund with the Foundation, the Oberndorfs are helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of the programs and ministries about which they care most.

Rosemary and Lou are passionate about their faith and about making a difference by supporting the Good Works of the Catholic Church within the Diocese of Venice and beyond.

“Lou and I are so impressed with Catholic Charities and their wonderful programs for the homeless, especially for single mothers and families within Sarasota County,” Rosemary said of Our Mother’s House, which provides mothers who might otherwise be homeless not only with safe housing but a program that has a proven track record of success.

Lou added that because the couple wanted the wonderful work of Our Mother’s House “to continue far into the future, we established an endowment fund that will help sustain these programs well beyond our lifetimes.”

The Oberndorfs formally signed their endowment fund paperwork during a brief ceremony April 23 at the Catholic Center in Venice. The signing included Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocesan Chancellor Dr. Volodymyr Smeryk, Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse, and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice Inc. CEO Philomena Pereira.

Bishop Dewane thanked the Oberndorfs for their generosity and for their confidence in the Foundation to focus their charitable efforts in a specific and meaningful way.

Pereira stated that “the ongoing support provided by the Oberndorf Endowment Fund will assist single mothers and their young children at Our Mother’s House to achieve self-sufficiency through education, vocational training and personal growth.”

More and more individuals and families, like the Oberndorfs, are choosing the Catholic Community Foundation as their philanthropic partner to help them fulfill their charitable goals. The Foundation offers services similar to other community foundations but differs from them in one very important way – the Foundation is a faith-based, Catholic organization. This means the Foundation will only support Catholic, pro-life or social service agencies whose missions are in alignment with the teachings of the Catholic Church. It also means that all endowed gifts are invested according to the socially-responsible guidelines established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Morse, of the Foundation, stated “We are very blessed to have the opportunity to work with people like Rosemary and Lou who care so much about their Catholic Faith and who want to make sure the Church’s programs and ministries will be here to serve those in need for generations to come.”

In addition to endowment funds, the Foundation offers a wide range of gifting options for donors including scholarship funds, donor advised funds, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and more.  According to Morse, the Foundation works with each donor individually to first understand what they want to accomplish and then determine how best to accomplish it.

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

Donor-Advised Funds

Susan Laielli – Special to the Florida Catholic

11/15/2018

It’s difficult to imagine that with one simple phone call a person can donate to any number of their favorite Catholic, social service, and other pro-life causes such as Pregnancy Care Centers, abstinence programs, Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities and beyond, through the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida (CCFSF).

After investing in other foundations in Southwest Florida, philanthropists Janine Marrone, and her husband Steve, decided to place their hard-earned money into a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) at the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, where their Catholic and pro-life passions could prosper, and hopefully change hearts and minds along the way.

A Donor-Advised Fund is a charitable investment account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care most about, while offering an immediate tax deduction. Donors make a charitable contribution to their fund and recommend grants from it over time to their favorite Catholic, pro-life or social service programs and ministries.

In the Marrone’s case, they advance many Catholic and pro-life missions, such as creating Luncheons4Life. They are assisted by many good people in Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties within the Diocese, each offering monthly luncheons in support of life. The luncheons, also held in Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Georgia, and Alton, Illinois, bring like-minded supporters of life together without politics, and with no cost or “ask” at the end.  Through their Donor-Advised Fund, the Marrone’s are able to raise awareness in hopes of bringing an end to abortion and offering healing to those who have had an abortion.

“The Donor-Advised Fund allows our contributions to be forwarded to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center for the luncheons, or to our Parish, the Catholic Faith Appeal, and Catholic Schools,” said Janine Marrone, who was excited to open the first Donor-Advised Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida this year.

“We can also contribute to the Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation, Pregnancy Care Centers, and to Catholic Charities through this fund,” added Marrone, who was well-versed and experienced in donor-advised funds.

She approached the Catholic Community Foundation when she heard they were launching their own Donor-Advised Fund program that was more in alignment with her faith and values.

Funds with the Catholic Community Foundation are invested in socially responsible, Catholic-screened investments.  Distributions can only be made to Catholic, pro-life or social service agencies whose mission and services are in keeping with the teachings of the Church.

“Earlier in 2018, the Catholic Community Foundation Board approved the launch of our Donor-Advised Fund program in response to numerous requests from donors within the Diocese who were looking for a Catholic option,” said Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida. “I was so blessed to work with the Marrone’s on the program’s launch.”

With the launch of this new program the CCFSW is now a full-service community foundation that can meet the needs of donors looking for a faith-based alternative for their giving. All Donor-Advised Funds, similar to all funds held by the Foundation, are governed by fund agreements signed by the donor, which specify how they may be used.

“With the recent changes to the tax laws, Donor-Advised Funds with the Catholic Community Foundation may be a great way to maximize your tax benefits this year and going forward,” added Morse.

Marrone exhibits much enthusiasm when she talks about charitable giving and making a difference, but she also is very active and engaged in the community, so there’s not a lot of time to waste.

“Working with the Foundation is easy, and with the Donor-Advised Fund it’s essentially one-stop-shopping, really,” said Marrone.

For more information on donor-advised funds or the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124.

Coseglia Scholarships awarded

Staff Report

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates with the 2018 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Ombretta Lubin of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Emma Milbert of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; Lucas Ritcher of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and Clare Williams of Donahue Academy in Ave Maria.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic High School graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

Ombretta Lubin

The three winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,111 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the seventh year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded to outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates.

Lubin wrote in her essay that through the Catholic Church and the education fortunately given to her, she became a better person. “I am the first in my family to attend college and I am determined to succeed,” she added. “With this scholarship money, I’ll be able to further my studies at Florida International University.”

Emma Milbert

Planning to become an elementary teacher Milbert wrote: “This is where my passion starts, with the education of children, and I wouldn’t have been able to recognize this if it weren’t for my Catholic Education.”

Crediting her Catholic Education for mentally and spiritually preparing her to go out and start making a difference, Milbert added that “it’s truly amazing how such young people right now, in a couple of years, can change the world, but what’s sad is one out of every four children are illiterate.”

Lucas Richter

With plans to study political science and pre-law, Richter wrote: “The Coseglia Scholarship will enable me to give back to my community more often without having to worry about paying for tuition. I finally learned the lesson a Catholic Education has taught me: the community is much

Clare Williams 

more than giving back, it’s changing the world around us for the better.”

Williams will work toward a degree in either mathematics or business, and explained how Catholic Education shaped her goals for the future and given her life purpose. “Only by understanding what my education has meant to me can I begin to appreciate who I am as an individual.”

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse noted that the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Venice by investing in the education of our youth.  “By creating an endowment with the Foundation, the Coseglias have guaranteed the availability of scholarship funds for generations to come,” Morse said.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

Traditional and Non-traditional Scholarships awarded

By Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

The 2018 Mary Fran Carroll Scholarships were recently announced by the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. This is the second year for the scholarship which was made possible through the Catholic legacy of Mary Fran Carroll and her generous gift to the Foundation.

As a result, seven traditional academic scholarships were awarded to recent high school graduates exclusively from Sarasota County. They are: from Venice High School, Bailey Jordan, Casey Lavalle, Emma Szablowski, and Sarah Zoetman; from Sarasota High School, Matthew Kowalczyk; from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Keri McMahon; and from North Port High School, Samantha Novak. In addition three non-traditional academic scholarships were awarded to adult learners who are returning to school to obtain a degree. They are: Alijah Madkour of Incarnation Parish, Sarasota; Shannon Butler, San Pedro Parish, North Port; and Kristine (Kelli) Ottman, Epiphany Cathedral, Venice.

Matthew Kowalczyk, enrolled at the University of South Florida where he wants to become a physician’s assistant, said in his application that “helping people has been number one for me always. I was taught that in some circumstances it is more important to help others first and then yourself. This scholarship will help me focus on becoming a better student (with more studying time) as well as give me more time to do what I love which is giving back to the community.”

Emma Szablowski plans on majoring in Criminology at Florida State University and chose this particular career path due to her many moves during the last 18 years. Primarily living in the deep south “I have observed numerous situations where individuals were not treated fairly, primarily due to race. I want to make a difference once and for all for such civil rights issues. Also, I believe that a lack of religious life has led the demise of human compassion.”

Kristine “Kelli” Ottman, who was the catechist for the Holy Communion class at Epiphany Cathedral for 17 years, would now like to become a teacher. “My plan to achieve my career goal is to make a difference in the lives of children. I know that creating a strong foundation and a love for learning will offer the best opportunity to children. I have a passion for faith-based teaching. I am confident it builds the foundation for a child’s educational future as well as their character.”

The traditional scholarships were open to Sarasota County graduating seniors and recent high school graduates from private or public high schools who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree at any accredited college or university. In addition, the non-traditional scholarships were open to adult learners who were returning to school to obtain a college degree or vocational certification after being out of high school for several years.

The scholarships are named for a successful businesswoman who dedicated her life to her faith, to fun and to charity. Mary Fran Carroll retired as an executive with Northern Trust Co. in the late 1980s, before serving as CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch for more than a decade. In that role, Carroll was responsible for much of the development of Lakewood Ranch, including the Sarasota Polo Club and the Lakewood Ranch Corporate Business Park.

Carroll gave a gift of $3.6 million to establish the scholarship fund to help others achieve career success through her legacy, explained Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse. Carroll was committed to providing opportunities to those individuals willing to work hard to make a difference in the community. This is the second year the $3,000 scholarships were awarded.

Scholarship applicants were asked to complete an online application and financial needs assessment in addition to submitting a clearly articulated career plan describing their chosen course of study. Traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college or university and non-traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college, university or vocational program.

The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed applications before determining the worthiest applicants. The scholarship can be used for tuition, books and fees. Scholarships may also be renewed annually up to a total of five academic years for students maintaining a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.2 or greater, while also making progress toward their career goal. Scholarship recipients are strongly encouraged to complete an ethics course at some point in their college career.

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