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Great Barrington Rotary Club celebrates students, $74,000 in scholarships awarded

The Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships to Monument Mountain and Mount Everett students for over 45 years, with over $1 million in scholarships awarded in that span.

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Rotary Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, awarded $74,000 in scholarships to 35 Mount Everett and Monument Mountain regional high school students at an event at Crissey Farm on Wednesday, May 29.

Some of the students graduated this year, while other had already graduated from the school system.

“The Great Barrington Rotary Club has been one of our closest connections when it comes to scholarships,” Monument Mountain Regional High School Guidance Counselor Sean Flynn told The Berkshire Edge. “They’ve been awarding scholarships for many years to a lot of our deserving students. They are leaders in the development of our scholarship programs, and these scholarships have helped our students tremendously through the years.”

According to the Rotary Club’s website, as a non-political, non-religious humanitarian organization, its mission is to make a positive impact in the community through fellowship, service, and fundraising. The Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships to Monument Mountain and Mount Everett students for over 45 years, with over $1 million in scholarships awarded in that span. The organization has also organized multiple events, fundraisers, and service projects that have supported the community.

Former organization President Tom Andrews has been a member for over 50 years. “It’s a great organization that does a lot for people that need help, and we’re all happy to do it,” Andrews said. “Our motto, ‘Service Above Self,’ is what the Rotary Club is all about. It’s all about helping people in the world and in our country that need help.”

Tom Andrews, former president of the Great Barrington Rotary Club. Andrews has been a member of the club for more than 50 years. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.
Rotary Club scholarship recipient and Monument Mountain High School graduate Noelia Salinetti and her mother Jen Salinetti. “The Rotary Club is an incredible institution, and they have done such great things for young people,” Noelia Salinetti said. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.
Rotary Club Scholarship Committee Chair Mark DeCelle giving scholarship recipients some words of advice at the May 29 event. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.

“We’re really excited to be able to help support people in the community,” Rotary Club Scholarship Committee Chair Mark DeCelle told the audience. “Some will come back to the community, and some may not, but we want to make sure that you’re all successful in life.”

DeCelle also had some life advice to offer students. “Don’t make excuses,” DeCelle said. “If you want excuses, turn on CNN or CNBC or Fox News or whatever it is you watch and you hear people. If something goes wrong, you need to sit back and say, ‘What could I have done to make this a better situation so it doesn’t happen to me in the future?’ Rethink your approach and don’t stay mad. Don’t let things bog you down. It’s important to have a positive attitude and a good mental approach.There’s no shortage of negativity out there, and it seems to be getting worse. Don’t let that bog you down because it’s just going to slow you down in life and it’s not going to help you.”

Click here to view the full list of 2024 Great Barrington Rotary Club scholarship recipients.

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