Tin Whistles Hit Milestone With Latest Awards
Four Moore County high school seniors received a monetary boost for college this fall when the Tin Whistles Educational and Research Foundation awarded its 100th scholarship last week.
The event took place on Monday at a special luncheon held at Fairwoods on 7 and marked two notable achievements for the Tin Whistles: handing out its 100th scholarship and topping the $1 million mark in funds provided to students.
Begun in 1979, TWERF is an affiliate of Tin Whistles, Inc. The Pinehurst golfing association, founded in 1904, is considered the oldest functioning golfing association in the country.
Andrew Steidinger is a board member for the TWERF program.
“Each year, students that are recommended by their guidance counselors apply for financial aid through the program,” he said. “The students are judged on academic achievement, school and community involvement, and the results of a personal interview. The final selection rests with the TWERF Board of Trustees, with the four winning candidates receiving renewable annual scholarships to accredited colleges and universities.”
All recipients must be residents of Moore County and must maintain good standing at their chosen institutions.
In Monday’s event, Murphy Poplyk received the Bob Hunt Memorial Scholarship to study biomedical engineering at Duke University, while Auden Laurence became the 100th student to benefit from the TWERF program. Laurence will attend Harvard University and plans to major in international relations.
Alyssa Radel is planning to use her award at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to pursue biology and medicine, and O’Neal School senior Meagan Watkins will concentrate in biology and pre-med at Columbia University.
Watkins could not be reached for comment, but in a prior interview she expressed her desire to attend a university that “push(es) the bar of learning even higher.”
“I have the ability and drive to accomplish my goal of becoming a physician and seeing an end to the tragic cycle of diabetes and heart disease,” she said. “I want the best possible education, not only for myself, but also for my family, my country, and my tribe of Lumbee Indians.”
Each student will receive a scholarship worth $4,000 per academic year for a total of $16,000. As the Bob Hunt Memorial Scholarship winner, Poplyk will be awarded an additional $500 in scholarship funds per academic year.
“Bob Hunt was a very popular club captain who passed away a few years ago,” Steidinger said. “We decided to add an additional amount to the scholarship in his name in order to distinguish it from the others.”
Steidinger said that Vice Admiral William E. Gentner Jr. and A. Parker Hall “shared a greater vision for the social organization and in 1979 they began fundraising activities among its members to establish an educational scholarship foundation. Since then, more than $1 million dollars has been provided to help deserving Moore County high school students complete their educational goals.
“We are extremely proud to provide the largest scholarship amounts in the county, and we are also delighted to have provided assistance to previous award winners who have proven to be a group of well-rounded, superior human beings,” he said.
Steidinger said that all Tin Whistle members play an active role in raising money through golf tournaments, gifts, grants, memorials and bequests “with the hope of eventually establishing a permanent educational endowment fund to promote outstanding character, leadership skills, integrity, and learning among today’s young people.”
This year a record $67,000 was contributed by members and friends of the Tin Whistles and the annual Robert Dedman-Don Padgett Memorial Golf Tournament.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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