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Cape Coral Mayor’s Scholarship Committee — helping to create a brighter future for our community

March 14, 2014
By JIM BURCH - Guest Opinion , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Many of you know me and also know of the many years that I have coached, worked in private business and participated in local, regional and state boards and committees as well as local government. Many don't know of the one organization that I have been most involved with and passionate about for several years, the Cape Coral Mayors Scholarship Fund.

The CCMSF, was created in 1982 and incorporated as a 501 (3) non-profit organization in 1996. For over 32 years, the CCMSF has provided over a half million dollars in scholarship funds to deserving Cape Coral students. In 1983 we provided two scholarships for a total of $500 and last year(2013), we provided 19 scholarships each valued at $1,500. We are a volunteer, non-profit citizens' group represented by a 15-member board along with eight trustees and we are not a part of the Cape Coral City government.

Our awards are unique as the winners are measured by merit in scholastic achievement and community involvement. I have said many times after our interview process that many of the candidates have resumes that would rival those of accomplished business leaders in the community.

The CCMSF firmly believes that these students will become the leaders of Cape Coral in the future. We understand that the strongest asset that Cape Coral has is its youth and helping them fulfill their dreams of higher education is a "win/win" for the student and the city. All students that are seniors, legal residents of Cape Coral interested in higher education, and who are not related to a board member are eligible to submit for a scholarship application.

Our main sources of revenue are derived from five sources: 1) the annual awards banquet, 2) advertising sales in the awards program book, 3) corporate and individual scholarship sponsorships, 4) friends of the fund donations and 5) Theatre Night at Cultural Park Theater.

Our Theater Night will be held this month on Thursday, March 27, and "Smokey Joe's Cafe" will be the production along with dinner, a raffle, and the silent auction.

The CCMSF Board and Trustees are the engine that makes the fund operate and the passion and hard work that these members put into the operation every year is a testament to the commitment our volunteers have to the community and its youth. Our board has members that have been involved for as long as 20 years along with the newest members just chosen within the past few weeks.

There are many good things about the Cape that most people do not know and one of the best is the CCMSF.As I attend so many functions as a government official, I realize how special our city is and how many wonderful and caring people that we have here. Those that serve this board and the youth of Cape Coral, because they care so much, rank high on that list.

Please contact me if you would like to sponsor, donate, attend our functions or submit applications for scholarship awards. Although submittals are over for this year, we accept donations, scholarship sponsorships, in kind contributions and kind words of advice all year and we strive to have more scholarships available year after year.

We are moving forward in Cape Coral and organizations such as the CCMSF represent the pillars that support our long-term commitment to the highest quality of life, through support for education and commitment to our youth to become our future leaders. I hope that you will take some time to visit our website and Facework page and share in our commitment and passion to insure that our future is bright by helping foster the future of our youth. (Site currently under construction)

Jim Burch is president of the CCMSF and a Cape Coral City Council member representing District 1.



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