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.
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.