AUGUSTA â€“ Dick Grotton, President and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association (MeRA) together with Michael Carney, President of the MeRA Education Foundation, announced today that scholarships have been awarded to four aspiring culinarians. Since 1985, the MeRA Education Foundation has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in financial aid to several dozen students from across the state providing financial support each year to Maine resident-students seeking degrees in culinary arts and/or hospitality management. This year, $6,000 is being awarded through the MeRA Education Foundation with the generous contributions of several Maine businesses.
Two scholarships, sponsored by Maine Beverage Company, were awarded to Jordan McLaughlin of Medway, Maine and Leon Wilkinson of Charleston, Maine in the amount of $2,500 and $1,500 respectively. McLaughlin is pursing degrees in culinary arts and hospitality management at Southern Maine Community College. This is McLaughlinâ€™s second scholarship through the MeRA Education Foundation. Wilkinson is a first-time scholarship recipient and has plans to enter SMCCâ€™s Culinary Arts program as a freshman in the fall.
Additionally, two MeRA member restaurant-sponsored scholarships were granted to Maine students. DiMilloâ€™s Floating Restaurant awarded Charles Bucklin of Northeast Harbor, Maine a scholarship to assist with his first year training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and a scholarship sponsored by the owners of Patâ€™s Pizza-Yarmouth and Grill 233 was granted to Hillary Riedel of Patten, Maine who will enter the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont as a freshman in the fall. Both Bucklin and Riedel will receive $1,000 to offset their academic expenses.
â€śOur scholarship recipients this year brought impressive accomplishments and dreams to the table,â€ť according to Carney. â€śThey represent a diversity of experience both in the classroom and in the workplace. Theyâ€™ve all got great potential, a strong work ethic, and developing talent. Each one of them is sure to go far, and itâ€™s nice that we, as an industry, can support their efforts.â€ť
Adding to Carneyâ€™s sentiment, Grotton noted that â€śweâ€™re proud to continue our tradition of publicly recognizing and supporting the educational pursuits of students from our state who wish to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. With the emergence of Maine as a culinary destination, the job opportunities for these students once they earn their degrees are very exciting indeed!â€ť
The MeRA Education Foundationâ€™s Russ Casey Scholarship Fund which was named for a former sales manager of the Jordan Foods Corporation who tragically lost his life to a brain tumor in the mid-1980s. Since that time the Education Foundation has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships, many bearing Caseyâ€™s name, to Maine students seeking careers in the restaurant industry. For further information about the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Restaurant Association Education foundation, visit www.mainerestaurant.com.
Contact Name: Dick Grotton
Telephone Number: (207)623-2178