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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 2021 Garden Club of Cape Coral Merit Scholarship Awards is now open! Applications are available either as a fillable form or for printing offline. Please follow the instructions below to complete your application. Deadline for completed applications including supporting documentation is Friday, February 19th, 2021.

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 $1,250 to each winner will be presented at the GCCC evening meeting on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Note: Application deadline is Friday, February 19th, 2021.) 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 19th, 2021. It can be emailed to Diane Cook at:
    Applications by mail will not be accepted in 2021.
  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 12, 2021.

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, then scanning to a pdf file or using a fillable application which can be saved or printed as a pdf.
To download and print the application please click on this button.

Printable Merit Award Application & Rubric 2021

For Online Applications:
To use the fillable application, access the two online Reference Forms, view the Guidance and Checklist information, please click on the links below.

Guidance and Checklist
Scholarship Rubric
Reference 1
Reference 2

To use the fillable application here are some helpful tips:
- Download the form to your computer.
- Open Adobe Reader or similar program.
- Fill out the form and save as pdf to your computer or print to pdf. If you want to save/print your completed application to pdf, you may do it from your print tab.
- Be sure the form is signed.
- Email the completed application (along with any supporting documents).

Fillable Merit Award Application 2021

Marty Ward Memorial Merit Award Winners 2020

Past Winners

Thomas Cramer – Winner of the 2020 Donna Conway Award

Thomas Cramer Winner of Donna Conway Award 2020