231 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
January 1, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Contact: Hugh Carola or Captain Bill Sheehan
2007 RON VELLEKAMP ENVIRONMENTAL SCHOLARSHIP
The guidance departments of sixty-five high schools that serve students from the Hackensack River Watershed were contacted today and invited to nominate one of their own. All students who reside or attend school within the watershed are eligible to apply. The Hackensack River watershed is an area approximately 210 square miles in size that lies within part of New York’s Rockland County as well as Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey.
Guidance counselors & faculty advisors can submit applications on behalf of deserving students. A review panel that includes Capt. Bill Sheehan, Trustees and staffers of Hackensack Riverkeeper will review each application. In deciding upon a winner, the panel will consider each applicant’s academic achievements, environmental extra-curricular activities and future plans. The $1000 Scholarship is unrestricted and can be used for any required purchases during the student’s first year at college.
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Ron Vellekamp Scholarship … 1-1-07 … Page 2
Mr. Keith Brunner of River Edge, NJ was the 2006 Ron Vellekamp Scholarship winner. By the time he graduated from River Dell High School last June, Brunner had already spent nearly ten years of his young life studying nature and engaging in active conservation (river cleanups, trail maintenance, etc.). Two years ago he conducted a series of environmental education programs at a North Haledon, NJ summer camp. Last month Keith completed his first semester at the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont in Burlington where he is majoring in environmental science.
“While each year we are faced with the dilemma of choosing one winner from a group of very talented and dedicated young people, 2006 was a particularly tough one,” said Hugh Carola, Hackensack Riverkeeper’s program director and scholarship administrator. “But once again, one of them showed us that he was the best of the best.”
Application criteria are available online at www.HackensackRiverkeeper.org or by calling Carola at 201-968-0808. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22, 2007. The winner will be announced on June 1.
The RON VELLEKAMP SCHOLARSHIP was started by a generous fellow Hackensack Riverkeeper trustee and continues to be supported by her and by the family of the late Mr. Vellekamp of Tenafly, NJ. Prior to his untimely death in 2002, the active high school teacher also served as a part-time park ranger at Palisades Interstate Park, a longtime Scout leader and a dedicated Trustee of Hackensack Riverkeeper.
“I’ve always counted it a singular privilege to support students who show the same level of commitment to nature and the environment that Ron had,” said Capt. Sheehan. “It’s his living memorial.”