PSHS graduate thanks rotary for scholarship

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .The Poland Rotary listened to recent high school graduate Galena Lopuchovsky thank them for the $1,000 scholarship the group gifted to her.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Poland High School 2019 graduate Galena Lopuchovsky attended a general meeting of the Poland Rotary June 19 to thank them for the $1,000 scholarship the group gifted to her earlier this year.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .The Poland Rotary listened to PSHS graduate Galena Lopuchovsky give a thank you speech after recieveing the $1,000 Carmella Smallhoover Memorial Scholarship.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Recent Poland Seminary High School graduate Galena Lopuchovsky visited the Poland Rotary on June 18 at the Magic Tree Pub & Eatery in Boardman.

Lopuchovsky attended the group’s general meeting to say thank you for the gift of the $1,000 scholarship earlier this year.

Larry Warren, a member of the Poland Rotary, said that the money came from a memorial scholarship under the name of Carmella Smallhoover, a former Poland Principal.

“We have been giving this scholarship out for 35 years, since the club became active,” Warren said.

He said that Smallhoover was a well known figure in the area, who was known for her compassion and the impact that she had on the Poland community.

“The scholarship does focus on service, since the rotary is a service based group,” Warren said. “But also on character and integrity.”

Lopuchovsky read the rotary a portion of her commencement speech, in which she discussed the impact Smallhoover had on the lives of the graduating students.

“I wrote the speech before I even knew I received the scholarship,” she said.

Along with achieving valedictorian status and being chosen to give the commencement speech, Lopuchovsky also volunteered with a number of organizations during her high school years. She was the president of the new Interact Club at Poland High School, organized by the Poland Rotary.

She also volunteered for the school’s Big Dog Little Dog program, as a Camp Fitch Counselor, as a volunteer coach for the middle school girls basketball team and for Hoby, a leadership organization.

It was this community work that Warren said made Lopuchovsky an obvious choice for the scholarship.

He said that the group received about 15 applications for the scholarship, and based the decision on essays written by the students.

“It’s about dedicating yourself to the community,” Lopuchovsky said. “I mean, the rotary’s motto is promoting service above self.”

Warren said that the club funds the scholarship annually with the funds from the chili open event they host.

He explained that next year the group will be giving away an additional scholarship thanks to a grant.

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