BERLIN, Conn. — The Connecticut B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (CBFN) continues to help its members and their families with financing for a higher education.
Every spring, the CBFN solicits applications from qualifying candidates and awards three scholarships to the top applicants as chosen by the CBFN scholarship committee. Eligible candidates must be CBFN members or their spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren or stepgrandchildren, as well as full-time students at an accredited institution.
Applicants must answer various questions, write a short essay and provide information about their studies. Their applications are reviewed and judged by the scholarship committee consisting of Kevin Lavender, Matt DeSimone (a former Federation Nation Championship qualifier), Sylvia Morris and Ed and Sue Weeks.
"We post an article on what we judge them on, but we don't get into specifics," said Lavender, scholarship committee chairman. "It's not like they have to have a specific grade point average. We are a small state, so we don't get a hundred applicants."
Receiving the CBFN $1,500 scholarship this year was Ricky Wisniewski, sponsored by his father Rome Wisniewski from the Connecticut Bassmen. He is an elementary education major attending Central Connecticut University.
The $1,000 scholarship went to Kathryn Gage, who was sponsored by her father, Donald Gage of the Pauchaug Area Bassmasters. She is majoring in biomedical engineering at the University of Connecticut.
Angela Mulnar was the $500 scholarship recipient and was sponsored by her grandfather Amedee Burrell from the NorthEastern Connecticut B.A.S.S. Club. She is a forensic science major at the University of New Haven.
Wisniewski and Mulnar are multi-year recipients of CBFN scholarships.
The scholarship fund each year is allocated 10 percent of the gross proceeds from the sales of tickets for the CBFN's annual raffle. Lavender said in recent years the CBFN has raffled off a bass boat from Federation Nation sponsor Skeeter Boats.
The CBFN doesn't disclose how many scholarship applications it receives, but Lavender is surprised by the low number of applicants each year. But he also noticed that other scholarships offered by fishing companies are being neglected. "The first couple of years when I was out looking at some of the other scholarship programs that already existed to see what kind of application we would have, I saw that there was a lot out there," he said. Yet when Lavender notified family and friends about the availability of these other scholarships, none of them bothered to apply for the funds.
Any eligible candidate interested in applying for next year's CBFN scholarships can call Lavender at 860-871-2517 for more information.