Fisher Cats present scholar-athlete awards

Recently, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Fisher Cats Foun­dation presented their 2015 Scholar-Athlete Scholar­ship awards. Eleven gradu­ates from New Hampshire and two from Massachu­setts high schools each earned a $2,500 scholar­ship based on athletic and academic achievements in high school, and were cele­brated during the ceremo­ny prior to the game July 9.

"These students have had excellent careers in high school, and we are proud to recognize them at the ballpark tonight," said Art Solomon, Fisher Cats owner and chairman of the Fisher Cats Foun­dation board. "They’ve excelled both in school and on the sports fields, and each has displayed a commitment to making their communities better places to live."

The scholarship recipi­ents were selected based upon criteria of academ­ic excellence, athletic achievement and active citizenship in the com­munity. Money for the scholarships was raised through several founda­tion endeavors, most no­tably the Granite State Baseball Dinner held an­nually in November.

The Foundation pre­sented three special scholarships among the thirteen – the Swymer Family Scholarship, of­fered annually to a stu­dent who has overcome a barrier and gone on to college; the Chris Carpen­ter Scholarship, named in honor of New Hamp­shire native; and National League Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpen­ter; and the Easter Seals Veterans Count Scholar­ship, presented to a New Hampshire graduate whose parent or guard­ian is an active, reserve, or veteran member of the United States Military.

Winners included:

William MacPhee, from ConVal Reigional High School/Peterborough, was presented with the Chris Carpenter Award. As the valedictorian of his class, he played varsity baseball for three years and cap­tained the team during his senior year. He also had two-year careers in varsity golf and basketball. He was the recipient of a Coach’s Award in basketball and the Most Improved Player Award for golf in his first year. He has also served as a member of student council for four years, and spent a summer studying at St. Paul’s School Ad­vanced Studies Program last year. He has plans to attend Harvard University.

Karam Sandhu, from Bedford High School, re­ceived the Swymer Family Award. In fifth grade, he was in Boston’s Children’s Hospital with a life threat­ening pulmonary hemor­rhage. His immune system was no longer his pro­tector and he developed lupus, an autoimmune condition that caused the hemorrhage. He was able to pull through this scary time of medication, therapy, and treatment by turning to his swim family that grew to become his inspiration. He was the recipient of the Coach’s Award for the Dedication and Perseverance in 2012 while swimming at Bed­ford High, and he won the school’s Sportsmanship Award in 2015. As a bea­con of inspiration, Sandhu also served as the captain of the swim team. He will attend Dartmouth College.

Mackenzie Collins, from Manchester Memo­rial High School, is a Man­chester native. Collins made a name for herself in field hockey and soft­ball during her prep days. She was a team captain for field hockey, she also made her biggest impact on the diamond as a two-year captain, second-team All-State selection, and Twin State nominee. She was a member of both the National and Latin Na­tional Honor Societies. She intends to pursue a nursing degree at Keene State College.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats established the Fisher Cats Founda­tion to be a catalyst for the betterment of communi­ties statewide by support­ing youth programs that encourage education and healthy living. Through the support of players, employees, sponsors and fans, the foundation works to make a positive impact. The foundation supports a variety of organizations and coordinates several programs and events.

At Veterans Count, a program of Easter Seals, their mission is to provide critical and timely finan­cial assistance and servic­es when no other resource is available to veterans, service members and their families, to ensure their dignity, health and overall well-being.