Gervais, Blanchard among MSGA scholarship recipients

Posted May 13, 2011, at 9:14 p.m.

Ian Gervais of New Limerick and Colby Blanchard of Thorndike are among a dozen recipients of $1,500 scholarships awarded by the Maine State Golf Association to undergraduate students for the 2011-12 school year.

Gervais was a member of the 2010 state Class C champion Houlton High School team, and Blanchard, who attends Mount View High School, earned the Winchenbach Award as the top scholar among the recipients.

The other recipients are A.J. Harris of Lee, Gavin Hannon of Oakland, David DuBois of Island Falls, Ryan Bartlett of Trenton, D’Mitri Monroe of Jonesport, Tyler Moody of Augusta, Mike Arsenault of Gorham, Justin Conant of Canton, Meghan Bickford of Cumberland and Jacob Roddy of Belgrade.

The scholarship, which was raised from $1,100 last year, is annually renewable for up to four years of undergraduate education provided the student remains in good academic standing.

They are intended, according to an MSGA press release, for young Maine people of good character who actively participate in golf as a player or employee at a Maine club. They must demonstrate financial need and have a strong record of academic achievement.

While the scholarships are aimed at  participants in the golf community, longtime MSGA Scholarship Committee president Lee Spaulding said the applicant pool is not that restrictive.

“You get an extra 5 or 10 points if you participate, but you don’t have to be a golfer,” said Spaulding, who is the general manager of Waterville Country Club in Oakland.

Scholarships aren’t given to high school seniors only, either. Students already enrolled in an undergraduate program can also apply, and if an applicant doesn’t get a scholarship the first time, he or she can re-apply in subsequent years.

There were about 35 applications this year, according to Spaulding, and there are usually between 35 and 50 each year.

Spaulding noted that the scholarship awards were raised from the $1,100 given last year.

“We wish we could give more,” he said.

The scholarship total this year will be $75,000, including the ones previously awarded. The money is raised through a couple of dedicated tournaments, a percentage of the fees collected from the weekend events and donations by members.

A point system established years ago under Spaulding has made for a more equitable selection system.

“No names are attached (to the applications) when the points are applied,” said Spaulding. “There are no names seen until it’s determined how many scholarships are to be awarded.”

At that point the top point-getters’ names are given to the committee. The members then go over the list in case, for instance, someone knows that an applicant has been in trouble with the law or if there may be some other disqualifying reason that didn’t come up earlier in the process.

Those are extremely rare, however, according to Spaulding.

“We have never rejected anyone,” he said. “At least as far as I know, and I’ve been president for more than 20 years.”

Discount cards pop up

—Rockland Golf Club has introduced a new discount card for golfers who play 10-20 times a year.

The card costs $99 up front, then players receive a $10 discount on each 18-hole round or a $5 discount on a nine-hole round.

For more information, call the Rockland pro shop at 594-9322.

—Hermon Meadow has also been offering a special card, but with a different twist. Golfers or businesses can purchase a 50-play ticket for $500. The difference with this card is that it’s by other players, if the purchaser so chooses. Also, there is no expiration date for the rounds.

For more info on that card, call the Hermon Meadow pro shop at 848-3741.

Tournament action

—The Bangor Golf Association is holding the BGA Open on May 22 at Bangor Municipal Golf Course.

The 18-hole event, sponsored by Beef ‘O’ Brady’s of Brewer, is a two-person, better-ball format with two men’s divisions and one ladies. Gross and net prizes will be awarded in each division.

The entry fee is $75 per team with the field limited to the first 50 teams to sign up. The entry deadline is May 18. Every player must have a USGA handicap index.

For more info, call the pro shop at 941-0232.

—Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Seth Wescott, former Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints linebacker John Huard, former NHL and Olympic hockey player Danny Bolduc and Gov. Paul LePage are among the supporters turning out for the Spectrum Generations Meals on Wheels golf tournament June 13 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Spectrum Generations Muskie Community Center of Waterville serves more than 400 meals each day to seniors in Somerset, Kennebec and Waldo counties.

The entry fee is $300 for a foursome or $75 for an individual who will then be grouped with other individuals to make up a foursome.

For more information, or to volunteer, go to www.spectrumgenerations.org or call 873-4745.

—The 4th Lee Family Scramble, which benefits Special Olympics Penobscot County, is scheduled for June 24 at Bangor Municipal.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8.

The Early Bird Registration is $75 per person and $300 for a team if it’s done by June 1. After June 1, the fee is $85 for an individual, $340 per foursome.

There were 116 players last year, which was well above the 2009 number. More than $5,000 was raised, and the money was used to buy snowshoes for the Winter Games, soccer uniforms for summer tournaments and bowling ramps.

Organizers are hoping for a similar participation bump this year. They would like to have a full field of 144 golfers and double the amount donated.

Entry forms are available at Bangor Muni and other clubs. Checks can be mailed to Special Olympics Penobscot County Golf, c/o Dave Berry – Treasurer, 21 Lexington Road, Orono 04473 or call 866-7702.

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