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February 2011 Check Presentation

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whenever an individual gives of themselves for the good of humanity, the impact of their generosity goes far beyond the here and now, linking forever their heart and soul to future generations. Sometimes that person creates an example so powerful, they inspire those who come after to passionately pursue lives of service.

One such individual whose memory is cherished as one who exemplified service above self was Marlene Duffy Young, a tireless and visionary leader who always worked for the common good of the community. Since her tragic death in a vehicle accident in May of 2008, her altruism has lived on through the Marlene Duffy Young Community Fund, which has recently provided funding for a newly established scholarship at Polk State College through the Community Foundation of Greater Winter Haven. This scholarship of $2,500 will be given on behalf of the Winter Haven Young Professionals Group to a deserving student of Polk State College who plans to positively impact the community’s future.

Exemplifying how Marlene’s philanthropy affects each new generation, the Board of the Community Foundation chose the Winter Haven Young Professionals to designate the use of these funds. In turn, the leadership of the Young Professionals group chose to donate the $2,500 to the Polk State College Foundation, contributing to future professionals whose potential is just beginning to blossom, and for whom an accessible, affordable, quality education is vitally important. In addition to this scholarship, the recipient will also receive a free membership to WHYPG for two years, a $120 value.

In a check presentation ceremony on February 28, 2011 at its District Board of Trustees meeting on the Winter Haven campus, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored the Winter Haven Young Professionals group for choosing to donate to Polk State College, helping Polk State College students fulfill their dreams of a college education.

On hand to accept the honor were several members of the Winter Haven Young Professionals Group: Allison Beeman, Andrea Cruz, Katie Gernert, Josh Lewis, and Clay McKown.   

Among her many accomplishments, Marlene Duffy Young was the first mayor of Winter Haven and served on the Winter Haven City Commission in the early 1980s.  Later Marlene served on the Polk County Commission for two years until 2000. She was the epitome of a servant leader and her passion for elevating our community was evident throughout her life.

 “On behalf of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, we are honored and grateful that the Winter Haven Young Professionals selected to make a meaningful difference in the life of a Polk State College student to help continue Marlene’s important legacy in our community. We also greatly appreciate the Community Foundation of Greater Winter Haven and the vital role it plays in making Polk County a great place to live, work, play, and learn,” said Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation. Pictured left to right: Carle Locke, Jr., Dr. Neriah Roberts, Katie Gernert, Clay McKown, Allison Beeman, Josh Lewis, Rick Garcia, Dr. Eileen Holden, Greg Littleton, Cindy Hartley Ross, Ernie Pinner.