The Crowd: Students receive college grants from Balboa Bay Club

An evening reception at the bayfront Balboa Bay Club & Resort welcomed students from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, who were chosen to receive the coveted "1221 Club" annual college grants from BBC. This year, 12 students were awarded scholarships totaling $100,000, among the largest grants offered to local students headed for college.

Founded in 1993 by Beverly Ray Parkhurst and a committee of women associated with the Balboa Bay Club & Resort, "The 1221 Club" within the club was created as a social auxiliary with a serious community purpose of helping local students with college expenses.

Soon afterward Lido Isle resident Ramona Smith added an additional element of generosity to the "1221" plan by donating a separate fund named in honor of her late husband E. Morris Smith, one of the club's former governors. The Smith scholarship would go to a promising student-athlete.

Finally, hotelier Henry Schielein, president of the club and resort, raised the bar by sponsoring an annual summer "Gentlemen's Smoker" on the beach, bringing in significant donations from the men, earmarked for the scholarship fund.

To date $628,000 has been raised and donated over some 16 years helping a diverse selection of young men and women nominated for the awards by their high school principals and counselors. The selection process is guided by former educator and Newport-Mesa Supt. Norman Loats working with BBC governors John Wortmann, chairman of the board, and Catherine Thyen, a local philanthropist.

Receiving the first-place scholarship awards in the amount of $20,000 each were James Nelson of Estancia High School and Rebeca Flores of Newport Harbor High School.

Two awards, also coming with checks for $20,000, from the E. Morris Smith Governor's Scholarship fund for student-athletes went to Emery Molnar of Corona del Mar High School and Julia Sclafani of Newport Harbor High School.

Accepting second-place awards of $7,000 each were Ryan Dutch of Newport Harbor High School and Erin O'Neil of Estancia High School.

Six more students received $1,000 grants. They were Kalika Selvcove, Cindy Garcia, Daisy Esparza, Sheridan March, Luis Bondoc and Justin Dang.

The upbeat ceremony and dinner welcomed students, parents, local dignitaries and friends.

In the crowd were BBC Chairwoman Beverly Ray Parkhurst and Arlis Parkhurst, Noel Hamilton, Debbie and Ron Millar, John Sclafani, Catherine Emmi, Donna Brantman, Patsy Gehl, Ramona Smith, Anita and Ken Lawson, Devon Wortmann, Susan Schamberg, Jerri Stathis, Carla Wyffels, Dave Wooten, Liz Grech and Schielein.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach.

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