Bill’s Seafood Golf Tournament Athletic Scholar Award Fund

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Bill’s Seafood Restaurant is a landmark on the Connecticut shoreline. Thousands of area residents and visitors visit annually to experience the on-the-water setting to the “tune” of Westbrook’s “singing bridge”.

The local (and visiting) residents have long supported Bill’s. Their loyalty is returned by the owners and staff many times over. For the past six years, Bill’s Seafood has hosted a golf tournament to support scholar-athletes from the shoreline towns. In just six short years, the business has awarded over $98,000 in scholarships. In 2009 alone, a total of $18,000 was presented to eight students, a male and female senior for the towns of Westbrook, Clinton, Old Saybrook and Valley Regional High School (Chester, Deep River and Essex). The students are selected by an independent committee of volunteers and have achieved high academic distinction, participated in a sport, demonstrated a positive character, strong leadership qualities and were active in community services. They all plan to further their education in a four-year college, junior college, business or vocational school.

This year the committee set its sights on doing more. They realized that the rising cost of higher education was preventing many deserving students from continuing their education, something they felt was unacceptable. They wanted to make it possible for more to pursue their educational goals. These dedicated volunteers faced the challenge of how to focus running the golf tournament, and raising more funds. They also knew that they did not want to establish and run a nonprofit…they just wanted to give back more to the communities where they work, live and call home.

The committee worked with the Community Foundation to establish the Bill’s Seafood Golf Tournament Athletic Scholar Fund. The committee is able to focus on giving back and nourishing the educational aspirations of more shoreline scholar athletes as it utilizes the Community Foundation’s sound structure and expertise managing funds.

“The partnership with the Community Foundation is a perfect solution for our generous committee. We are grateful to the guidance and expertise of the Community Foundation. We get to do what we love best: running the golf tournament and giving back to the community that means so much to us.”

~ Mark Leopoldino of Bill’s Seafood