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Students Meet the Challenge

It is that time of year for the service clubs to begin distributing their scholarship awards. The Magnolia Park Optimist Club made its first awards presentation at the club’s April 5th dinner meeting. This event took place at the Elk’s Club in Burbank. The “Meet the Challenge” awards are given to students who were at risk of not completing their high school educations. Club members Evie Magnante and Sue Kyle presented three students, who met the challenge and are completing their educations in June, with $500 scholarships.

Wendy Reyes from Burbank High School received her scholarship. She will be the first member of her family to go to college. From John Burroughs High School, the winner was Tayler Nunez. She was elected the Homecoming Queen this year. She plans to become an orthodontist. Elizabeth Winning was the recipient of the scholarship from Monterey High School. Elizabeth is planning to become a 2nd-grade teacher.

Bill Flora was an Optimist club member for 50 years. He was a teacher, counselor and baseball coach at John Burroughs High School and a great guy, so the Optimisters named an award after him. The Bill Flora Award is given to a student who is good to his team members, is a good sportsman, and is a leader on and off the floor. Jim Lloyd made the presentation. This year the Bill Flora Award (a $1,000 scholarship) winner was Matteo del Monte from Burbank High School. His team members called him the “coach on the court.” He plans to use his award to attend Cal State San Diego in the fall. Skip Flora, Bill’s widow, was there to see Matteo receive the award. Matteo’s mother, father, and sister also were present for the award, along with representatives from each school.

The club will be giving more annual scholarships to high achievers at its April 19th meeting.


Also coming up on May 18th is the club’s Annual Golf Tournament at DeBell Golf Course. Call Terry Scott at (818) 842-7950 if you would like to participate. Remember that this is the way the club raises the money it needs for the help it provides our community.

The Magnolia Park Optimist Club meets the first and third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Burbank Elks Club, 2232 Hollywood Way. For more information contact Terry Scott at (818) 842-7950

Isabel Adams can be reached at (818) 842-7359 or at