Marlborough’s CSF Dollars for Scholars plans to relaunch Scholar Bee

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CSF volunteer Annie Florendo shares a happy moment as Roberta Oehley claims her gift basket at the CSF Dollars for Scholars event held at Evviva Trattoria late last month.

MARLBOROUGH – After a relatively quiet year in terms of fundraising, CSF of Marlborough Dollars for Scholars program has come roaring back with a successful Holiday Basket Raffle.

Now, the group is gearing up for a relaunch of its beloved Scholar Bee later this year.

Basket Raffle a success

The Holiday Basket Raffle took place late last month at Evviva Trattoria in Marlborough with the purpose of getting exposure for CSF Dollars for Scholars and the scholarships it makes available to Marlborough residents.

“We want to thank Evviva Trattoria for showcasing the baskets and encouraging their diners to participate,” said Mary Jo Nawrocki, one of the founders of Dollars for Scholars, in an interview with the Community Advocate.

Nawrocki was, indeed, part of a group that spearheaded a grassroots campaign to assist Marlborough students with the rising costs of college expenses back in 1989.

Now a chapter affiliate of Dollars for Scholars, the national program of Scholarship America, CSF of Marlborough Dollars for Scholars is a non-profit, tax-exempt foundation that is locally operated and supported.

It has awarded over 1,200 scholarships amounting to more than $900,000 over the years.

Students can attend any high school and still be eligible for the scholarships, as long as they’re residents of Marlborough with plans to pursue higher education, whether that be a two- or four- year college, technical school, or certificate program.

Adults heading back to the classroom may also apply.

Scholar Bee holds special place in group’s history

There have been many creative fundraising events over the years, including a motorcycle ride, trivia night, and basketball tournaments, but the long-running Scholar Bee was always particularly beloved.

“The Scholar Bee was a personal favorite of Debbie Giroux, one of our most dedicated volunteers and our Vice President up to the day she passed,” Nawrocki said.

The Bee is coming back this year in Giroux’s honor, officially launching with a kickoff event on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Apex Entertainment Center.

“There are a lot of residents out there who can remember the excitement of the Bee and the thrill of winning,” Nawrocki said. “We hope they are ready to take on the challenge once again and face some newcomers!”

The spelling bee itself will be held at the Apex Center at 21 Apex Drive in Marlborough on April 28.

As in the past, there will be three people per team and the entry fee is just $200. Anyone who would prefer to sponsor a team rather than participate themselves is welcome to do so, as there are usually more willing teams of high school or middle school students than the school budgets can manage.

The list of potential words will be sent electronically to the teams to use to study.

Registration forms will be provided at the February kickoff form event Payment, in turn, can come via check, cash or through the app Venmo.

More details will be provided on Feb. 8.

Anyone wishing to make a general donation to CSF Dollars for Scholars can mail a check to CSF of Marlborough Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 296, Marlborough, MA 01752. Donations are tax-deductible.

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