PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - The Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association awarded $75,000 in scholarships to 20 awardees from Hawaii-area submariners and their families during an award ceremony hosted by the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, April 29.
Capt. Richard Seif, commander, Submarine Squadron One (SUBRON 1), was the guest speaker and presenter.
"As submariners, we know the importance of a well-trained and educated crew," said Seif. "We also know the importance of taking care of shipmates, keeping them on the right path, providing opportunities and helping them achieve their full potential."
"It's truly humbling to see this submarine spirit on full display here today, as the Bowfin scholarship program allows twenty highly deserving, 'bowfin tough' students to invest in their knowledge and realize their dreams."
Since 1985, the Bowfin Scholarship Program has invested more than $800,000 in scholarships to provide financial aid for tuition, books, and fees in support of higher education.
Chuck Merkel, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park executive director, thanked members, sponsors and the many supporters of the Bowfin scholarship selection committee for their commitment to the scholarship program.
"In the beginning, this money came from our operations account," said Merkel. "Depending on how tourism went in Hawaii, so went the strength of our scholarship program. Due to the exceptional efforts of our Bowfin team, our education endowments continue to grow and we will award $75,000 in scholarships today."
All members of the Hawaii-area submarine community, active duty or retired, their family members, and family members of deceased submariners who reside in Hawaii, and who are attending an accredited college, university or vocational school are eligible for the scholarship program.
This year, scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $7,500 were awarded to the family members of twenty Hawaii-based submariners. One of the top awards, the Rear. Adm. Paul Lacy scholarship, was awarded to Tyler LaBonte, son of Cmdr.
"I'm really honored to achieve the Paul Lacy scholarship," said Tyler LaBonte. "I would just like to thank them very much for this opportunity. To me, the Bowfin scholarship is a way to help out all the people who have worked so hard during their high school years and have goals they want to accomplish in college."