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Pauma Valley Country Club to award 34 scholarships


May 22, 2013
In 2008 a retired doctor and Pauma Valley Country Club member had the urge to start a scholarship program to help employees of the club and their siblings with financial aid to further their education.

Dr. Bryant Pickering started by asking his friends, all club members, for money. He decided he had a worthy project worth pursuing. His friends agreed.

From a modest beginning the program has expanded with more recipients honored and funds accumulated. The name later was changed to Marv Borden Memorial Farmers Pauma Scholarship. Borden was Pauma landowner, farmer, long-time member of the country club and an original donor. Dr. Pickering suggested the change after his good friend Mr. Borden died.

Over six years the fund has issued 170 scholarships, and average of 28 per year. This year is the highest ever, 34 scholarships, and the awards total is also a single-year high at $44,000. Award lows are $500 and none can exceed $2000.

''In 2008 I had an idea this would work here (the club),'' said Dr. Pickering, an endocrinologist. ''I had no inclination it would go this far or grow so big. I think we have had 35 different PVCC members contribute since the beginning.''

According to Charles Mathews, who handles the internal affairs of the program, the scholarship fund now perpetuates itself due to wise investing and long-term commitments. The future, he says, is secure.

Father Joe Patronik and retired schoolteacher Linda McKinnon, both club members, complete the 4-person volunteer board and have been active from the beginning.

Recipients must apply on a one-page form that describes their need for assistance. They must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and they must write an essay to explain how a scholarship will benefit them. For those applying for repeat awards each college school year, they must explain why additional money is needed.

One person has received an award all six years; three have been helped for five years; eight for four years; 15 for three years and 14 for two years. Completing the total are 44 with one scholarship.

Since its inception, $527,000 has been collected, $231,000 has been issued. These numbers indicate there are ample funds for the future.

Recipients or their family members must be from the valley -- Pauma Valley or Valley Center, including smaller areas like Pala, Rincon and Aguanga. The committee works with a Valley Center HS advisor as part of the outreach program. If a valley recipient moves, he or she remains eligible until the college years are concluded.

Those to be honored at a luncheon at the country club May 24 are:

Caty Alvarez, Dustin Bourgeois, Alexander Caratti, Bayley Coberly, John Courtney III, Katherine Dufour, Rosa Garcia, Sierra Hegle, Maribel Hernandez, Nathan Hochstetler, Levi Imbuzon, Kyle Kittridge, Kevin Landen, Morgan Marcon, Lindsay Nelms, Michelle Nido, Saul Oros, Sarai Ramirez, Youali Ramirez, Miguel Rios, Ismael Rodriguez, Christopher Rudolph, Sofia Saavedra, Leticia Santiago, Hudson Sherr, Autumn Shultz, Stacy Strand, Sierra Swartz, Richard Tapia, Christina Torres Perez, Billy Trok, Daniela Troncoso and Xiaodan Xu.

Both Dr. Pickering and Mathews expect the requests to grow but worry that some may miss out because, as Mathews, explains, ''80% of those requesting aid either miss the first deadline or leave necessary information off the application.''

''I'm sorry to report many simply aren't good readers, do not follow instructions, and do not write well,'' adds Mathews. ''Bryant (Dr. Pickering) says he would love to start a community outreach program to address such issues. He is soliciting ways to include active knowledge-based participation by parents.

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