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Garden Club of Cape Coral

Merit Scholarship Awards

Garden Club of Cape Coral Merit Scholarship Awards

The application process for the 2022 Garden Club of Cape Coral Merit Scholarship Awards is now open! Application information and forms are available at the links below. Please read all application parts and follow the instructions carefully to complete your application. Deadline for completed applications including supporting documentation is Friday, February 18, 2022.

Brief History of the Awards: Awards are provided every year by the Garden Club in honor of Marty Ward and Donna Conway.

Marty Ward was passionate about gardening and was active in many different garden clubs from her first involvement in 1959 in Indiana until her death in 2016 – a period of more than 50 years. She co-founded the Garden Club of Cape Coral, and served as a Director on the Board of the Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council, an active accredited National Garden Club Flower Show Judge, and an active Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Floral Design Instructor. For the Garden Club of Cape Coral, she held many offices, served on many committees, became the Senior Advisor on horticulture, encouraged member participation in flower shows, and instructed members in floral design. She was also a proponent of these scholarships.

Donna Conway was a long-time member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral. As Chair of the Club’s Ways and Means Committee from 2008 – 2010, the annual March in the Park plant sale and festival was her creation, and it is used to raise funds for these scholarships and for several other community gardening activities. Donna worked diligently to make this activity a success, not only organizing the Club to get it going, but working with the City of Cape Coral to find a venue for it and obtain permits. She was strongly supportive of students who are committed to preserving the environment and who have shown that type of commitment during their high-school years. The funding for one of the scholarships is provided by Donna’s family at her request and continues for ten years beginning in 2020.

Purpose of Scholarships: Annually, the Garden Club of Cape Coral awards scholarships to assist worthy graduating high school seniors who plan to obtain college degrees and who have demonstrated an interest in areas such as horticulture, environmental studies or sustainability, agriculture, biology/botany, natural resources, conservation and/or hydrology. The interest should be demonstrated through their studies, extracurricular activities, and/or employment during their years in High School and/or Middle School.

Award Details: Awards of up to $1,500 to each winner will be presented at the GCCC evening meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (Note: Application deadline is Friday, February 18, 2022.) Winners must be present to receive their awards. Each award is contingent on acceptance and enrollment at an accredited institution of higher learning. Awards are not based on financial need. Larger awards may be provided to applicants who plan to pursue careers compatible with the purpose of these scholarships. The application is available by clicking the button below.

Eligibility: Applicant must
  1. Be a Cape Coral resident
  2. Be a high school senior
  3. Demonstrate an active and ongoing interest and participation in horticultural and/or environmental issues. This includes classroom and extracurricular activities such as work and volunteer experience.
  4. Have a goal related to the purpose of the scholarships

  1. Application must be emailed by Friday, February 18, 2022. It can be emailed to Nora Hoover at:
    Applications by mail will not be accepted in 2022.
  2. Persons identified as references by the applicant must also email their recommendations by the deadline for the application as noted above.
  3. Notification of award decisions will be made by Friday, March 11, 2022.

Judging of Applications: Members of the GCCC Merit Awards Committee will award points in five categories to each application. These points will be the basis for the scholarship awards:
  1. Personal Recommendations – 20%
  2. Extracurricular/Work Activities – 20%
  3. All High School Classes – 15%
  4. College and Career Goals – 15%
  5. Personal Statement – 30%
Applicants have the option of printing the application parts, then scanning to a pdf file or filling out the MS Word document which can be saved or printed as a pdf.
Please return the Scholarship Application, the two references and any supplementary information (such as transcripts) by email to Nora Hoover at: by Friday February 18, 2022.

Application Parts

For your convenience you can download the individual application parts. To download the Guidance and Checklist, the Scholarship Rubric, the Scholarship Application and the two Reference Forms, please click on the links below.

Guidance and Checklist
Scholarship Rubric
Scholarship Application
Reference 1
Reference 2

Congratulations to the winners of the Marty Ward Memorial Merit Awards and the Donna Conway Memorial Award for 2021!

Scholarship winners 2022

Read the full details in the Merit Award Winners Press Release.

2021 Marty Ward Memorial Merit Awards and the Donna Conway Memorial Award

Scholarship winners 2021

Read the full details in the Merit Award Winners Press Release.

2020 Marty Ward Memorial Merit Award Winners

Past Winners

Thomas Cramer – Winner of the 2020 Donna Conway Award

Thomas Cramer Winner of Donna Conway Award 2020