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Women's club helping eager, needy students

(ran PAS edition)

The Lutz-Land O'Lakes Woman's Club recently handed out $3,900 worth of scholarships to students in central Pasco and north Hillsborough counties.

The winners met two criteria: They demonstrated that they are serious about their educations and that they need the help.

For more than a decade, the club has been providing assistance to students who want to broaden their horizons.

"The students have to send in applications stating their needs, what they want to do with their lives, and their grade levels." said group member Elsie Schatz. "And in some cases, they are living in single-parent homes or in homes where other children are going to college, and they have a problem getting money in the family for everyone."

The scholarships aren't just for teens, however.

"It's also for a lot of single parents who want to turn their lives around," Schatz said.

Each year, a committee picks the recipients, combing through applications and confirming financial need.

"We go through it and figure out who has the most need and who is the most deserving," Schatz said.

The recipients will be honored at the annual Spouse Abuse benefit at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 8 at the Land O'Lakes Community Center on U.S. 41.

The annual benefit shower is open to the public. Donations of clean clothes for women, children and infants; shoes; and disposable diapers will be accepted the morning of the luncheon. Diapers are especially needed, Schatz said.

Lunch will be provided by the club for a $4 donation.

The scholarships were announced in May, but the winners will be honored at August's luncheon.

The recipients are Tami Lee Garcia, Sharon Masinelli and Danielle Jennifer Neyman of Land O'Lakes High School; Claudia M. Conty Acosta and Erica Holleger of Gaither High School; David Silverman of Hillsborough High School; Rose Bailey, Patricia Dickson, Jaime Alison Hartless, Joan Johnston, Christine King and Tami Wingard won for continuing education.