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Ten New Scholarship Recipients

The Maverick Foundation is proud to present the following ten new scholarship recipients for 2017:

Sydney Xhunga, a graduate of IS 75, is the recipient of the Gullickson McGuire Scholarship to Moore Catholic HS.

Jason Mora, a graduate of Saint Rita’s School, is the recipient of the Terry Sweeney Scholarship to Saint Peter’s HS.

Grace Schaaff, a graduate of Blessed Sacrament School and attending Saint Joseph by the Sea High School, is the recipient of the Bill Hodge Scholarship.

Grace Hyland, a graduate of Our Lady of Good Counsel School and attending Xaverian High School, is the recipient of the John Thomann Scholarship.

The following students received the Jim Boylan Memorial Scholarships:

  • Faith Berte, a graduate of Saint Clare’s School and attending Saint Joseph by the Sea HS
  • Amanda Fede, a graduate of Saint Rita’s School and attending Saint John Villa Academy
  • Patrick Golding, a graduate of Saint Charles School and attending Monsignor Farrell HS
  • Sean Keag, a graduate of Blessed Sacrament and attending Monsignor Farrell HS
  • Francesca Pascale, a graduate of Saint Joseph Hill Academy who will be attending Saint Joseph Hill Academy HS
  • Hailey Nyquist, a graduate of IS 51 who will be attending Saint Joseph Hill Academy HS

We wish them all the best and look forward to sharing in their successes throughout high school and helping them realize their dreams and aspirations!

Rising Stars of the Maverick Foundation

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that seven of our scholarship recipients were recognized for their achievements with the Congressional Award Program by Congressman Dan Donovan at his office.

From Moore Catholic High School, Sarah Primiano, a senior, received the Silver Medal, while Genevieve Bruen, a junior, and Kristen Blanchard, a sophomore, received Bronze Medals. Sarah, Genevieve, and Kristen are recipients of the Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship in memory of Joe Gullickson who made the ultimate sacrifice with the FDNY on 9/11 and Dan McGuire, who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in 1976. Dan was a student and captain of the track team with the class of 1977 while Joe graduated with the class of 1982.

From Saint Peter’s High School, Thomas Walsh, a senior, received the Silver Medal, while Santo Tiralosi, a junior, and Peter Rotondo and Frank Pizzella, who are both sophomores, received Bronze Medals. Thomas and Peter are recipients of the Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship who was an iconic figure in track and field community and for decades inspired generations of runners to “live to the max” not just in running but in life. Santo and Frank are recipients of the Terry Sweeny Memorial Scholarship who was a diehard Saint Peter’s Eagle who lived strong with grace and courage despite a debilitating disease.

The Maverick Foundation is proud of these wonderful role models who achieved this significant recognition each in their own unique way that required persistence and dedication. We are especially proud of the efforts all made to help others and volunteer in the community. This group collectively volunteered over 1,850 hours. Wow!

The Maverick Foundation will again be offering these scholarships this year. Interested 8th graders are encouraged to visit our website to learn more and apply.

The Maverick Foundation will be having our flagship Lt. Joe Gullickson Memorial Picnic on Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 12:00 to 6:00 PM at Nansen Park. Save the date!

Thank you for your interest in the Maverick Foundation!

Joe’s 14th Annual Memorial Picnic

Joe loved getting family, friends, and neighbors together at his house for an outdoor barbecue where he would exchange jokes and stories, share his passion for music, especially the Grateful Dead, recount the heroic exploits of our greatest generation, talk about his favorite Honeymooner episodes or his favorite movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Lonesome Dove.

He would pick up the basketball and initiate games of 21 in the driveway talking about Larry Bird. The last time Joe had the opportunity to regale in the day like this was his daughter Isabel’s first birthday in late August 2001.

It is in this spirit that The Maverick Foundation carries the spirit of Joe on this day dedicated to him and all who made the ultimate sacrifice.

It is a fun-filled day for kids with rides, games, pony rides, petting zoo, and face painting, yet the day begins as it always does with a respectful and solemn remembrance of September 11th with an outstanding FDNY color guard with members who knew Joe for years and members who are also new to the department. Retired FF Zeke Quin carries the Memorial 343 Helmet with white gloves while flanked by FDNY Chiefs Joe Jim Boylan and Kevin Woods who are accompanied by Lt. Steve Cunningham, Firefighters Andrew Francis and Charles Bernardi, and Probationary Firefighter Joseph Falcone with Ladder 101. This is followed by Jerry Sculley’s outstanding rendition of “God Bless America”.

We were especially privileged this year to have former FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano provide opening remarks for the audience.

Some clouds and occasional showers could not dampen the positive atmosphere under the pavilion with live music provided for the second consecutive year by The Fine Line.

Special thanks to Joe Byrne of Turner for donating his $1,500 raffle prize to The Maverick Foundation! By the way, the winning number was 2468.

Special thanks to Joseph Falcone of Ladder 101 for getting there early and helping with set-up!

Congratulations to FDNY Chief Ed Kearon on his retirement after 34½ years of outstanding service to NYC!

I would like to thank everyone for their outstanding support each and every year and I look forward to seeing everyone back next year for the 15th Annual!

Congratulations to the 8 New Scholarship Recipients of 2015

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce the following scholarship recipients for 2015. Congratulations to all!

  • Kristen Brennan – Gullickson McGuire Scholarship
  • Matthew Pleszewicz – Gullickson McGuire Scholarship
  • Emilie Lauria – Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship
  • Christopher Clancy – Terry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship
  • Jenna Ann Carrera – Jim Boylan Scholarship
  • Jacqueline Sutera – Jim Boylan Scholarship
  • Hannah Nyquist – Jim Boylan Scholarship
  • Madison Rose Gorman – Jim Boylan Scholarship

The Red Hook Raider Award Recipient for 2015

Andy Singleton is the proud recipient of the Red Hook Raider Recognition Award this year.

In his words:

“I was truly humbled and honored to get Captain Kearon’s email, and just the consideration meant a lot to me. To now know that I will be receiving the award is overwhelming!

I actually got on the job in October of 2001, as a member of the first class after 9/11. Along with my mother, we were at Ground Zero for the first 24 hours, mostly spent in the quarters of E-10/L-10. She is a doctor, and we went as volunteers, clearing out 10 house’s kitchen for use as a triage. I wasn’t technically a fireman at the time, but I think that experience gave me a connection few other incoming probies ever had. While I didn’t get the chance to meet, or work, with Lt. Joe, Sal, Joe, Brian, Terry, Pat, or Tom, I have had the great fortune of getting to know the families of all.

I am proud to get this recognition, because it makes me feel as though I would have earned the approval of those seven men. The stories and tales of their achievements tells me that truly getting that approval didn’t come easy. Thank you for this honor.”

The previous awardees of the Red Hook Raider Recognition Award are:

  • 2014 . . . Chief Thomas Giordano
  • 2013 . . . Chief Edward Kearon
  • 2012 . . . Lt. Erik Knudsen
  • 2011 . . . Chief Jack Oehm
  • 2010 . . . Firefighter Eddie Davis
  • 2009 . . . Firefighter Tony Catapano

12th Annual Good Citizen Award Program Presents 15 Awards

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that fifteen well deserving eighth grade students received Good Citizen Awards during their school’s graduation ceremony that included a certificate along with a tee shirt and a medal. Each student was nominated by their eighth grade teacher for being an exemplary role model who regularly demonstrates respect for others, willingness to help others, and having a worthy academic record especially regarding conduct and effort.

Students were also selected for having overcome a significant obstacle in their lives such as an illness or difficult family situation while maintaining a positive attitude and achieving their goals. The recipients for each of the following schools are:

  • Kristen Gullickson – Blessed Sacrament
  • Amanda Kwasny – Blessed Sacrament
  • Rebecca Soler – Notre Dame Academy
  • Juliana Vasile – Our Lady Help of Christians
  • Matthew Giacobbe – Our Lady of Good Counsel
  • Lizbeth Rocha – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • Joseph DiPaolo – Our Lady Queen of Peace
  • Rebecca Regis – Saint Adalbert
  • Christopher Dodge – Saint Ann
  • Joseph D’Ambrosio – Saint Charles
  • Andrew Trimarchi – Saint Christopher
  • Nicholas Demetriades – Saint Clare
  • Drew Pearlstein – Saint John Villa Academy
  • Jenna Karnatski – St. Joseph–St. Thomas
  • Julie Boyd – Saint Rita

Maverick Foundation Volunteers Support the Travis July 4th Parade

Maverick Foundation scholarship recipients helped organize the 104th Annual Independence Day Parade in Travis. Despite the rainy weather, the parade marched on thanks to the hard work and efforts of our young volunteers. In the picture below, from left to right, Peter Rotondo, Frank Pizzella, Santo Tiralosi, and Kristen Blanchard were instrumental in setting up the line of march and preparing the Reviewing Stand for the ceremony as well as breaking down the parade.

Thank you Peter, Frank, Santo, and Kristen!

Congressman Michael Grimm Visits 13th Annual Lt. Joe Gullickson Memorial Picnic

The Maverick Foundation was honored and proud to have Congressman Michael Grimm visit our 13th Annual Lt. Joe Gullickson Memorial Picnic. He spent a good amount of time talking with guests and scholarship recipients.

In the below picture, Congressman Grimm is with Peter Rotondo on the left and Frank Pizzella on the right.

Thank You, Friends and Supporters!

Hi Maverick Foundation Friends and Supporters,

I just wanted to THANK YOU for your support of The Maverick Foundation and helping make the 13th Annual Lt. Joe Gullickson Memorial Picnic a very memorable and successful event this past Saturday!

Whether it was attending the picnic, selling raffles “behind the scenes,” making a donation, volunteering for the event, donating a prize to our raffle table, or just helping get the word out, I appreciate it very much!

We had a great day for Joe!

Special appreciation to . . .

  • The FDNY Honor Guard including Chief Kevin Woods, Chief Jim Boylan, FF Zeke Quin, FF Andrew Francis, FF Charlie Banardi, FF Sayed, FF Jay Mahoney, and for Captain Tom Gardner for arrangement, equipment and the logistics.
  • Kevin & Eileen Christie for setting up and managing the raffle table.
  • Ryan & Christina O’Shea for their huge early morning assist with set-up.
  • John & Denise Marino for the donating the balloon arrangements.
  • Ted Farinella for his huge support at the raffle table with the play tickets and Yankee tickets.
  • JetBlue, especially Richard Smyth, for their two pairs of “Fly Anywhere” Tickets that are a huge draw at our raffle table.
  • Jerry Scully for singing “God Bless America” each and every year.
  • The FDNY Red Hook Raiders who come each and every year including Ed Kearon, Jack Oehm, Tony Catapano, Eddie Davis, Andy Singleton and Tom Giordano.
  • Brooke Dubinski and Katie Wilkinson of Turner for requesting and managing corporate contributions.
  • Those who traveled for some distance including Connecticut, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens to get to the Picnic.

We had a record number of people . . . 283 . . . And we are growing each year.

Some key achievements for the foundation are that we have issued $229,000 in scholarships, presented 211 Good Citizen Awards over 11 years, and our Scholarship Recipients have performed collectively over 5,000 hours of public service.

We are now annually averaging about 1,000 hours of public service per year with each recipient averaging 100 hours per year. We now have four volunteers with Meals on Wheels alone.

In 2002, we had one scholarship recipient. Last Saturday, I introduced 8 current recipients, 3 new recipients, and 4 past recipients who have graduated from our scholarship program.

Thanks again for your steadfast support and dedication that allows us to continue with our mission!

Have a happy and safe summer!

Sincerely,

Bob Gullickson
President

18 Good Citizen Awards Presented

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that it has presented 18 Good Citizen Awards to well deserving eighth grade students at their graduations based on the their teacher and principal nominations.

Students were selected for being exemplary role models who regularly demonstrate respect for others, willingness to help others, and having a worthy academic record especially regarding conduct and effort. Students were also selected for having overcome a significant obstacle in their lives such as an illness or a difficult family situation while maintaining a positive attitude and achieving their goals:

  • Shannon Gullickson – Blessed Sacrament
  • Julian Ortiz – Blessed Sacrament
  • Isabel Gullickson – Notre Dame Academy
  • Kathryn McKee – Notre Dame Academy
  • William Hensch – Our Lady Help of Christians
  • Adney Silva – Our Lady of Good Counsel
  • Ricky Diaz – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • Joseph Terzian – Our Lady Queen of Peace
  • Fay McKeveny – Our Lady Star of the Sea
  • Jessica Palumbo – Saint Adalbert
  • Francesca DeSilvio – Saint Ann
  • Christopher Scully – Saint Charles
  • Alex Cammarano – Saint Christopher
  • Dean Iannuzzelli – Saint Clare
  • Gabriella Sasso – Saint John Villa Academy
  • Lynsey Hunt – St. Joseph–St. Thomas
  • Joshua Santaromana – Saint Rita
  • Lauren Carini – Saint Patrick (Chatham, NJ)

The Maverick Foundation has presented 211 Good Citizen Awards since beginning the program 11 years ago.

Frank Pizzella Awarded “The Terry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship” for 2014

Frank Pizzella

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that Frank Pizzella has been awarded “The Terry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship” for 2014.

Frank is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and is a graduate of Saint Rita’s school where he was involved with many volunteer activities including serving as an ambassador for the school to greet and welcome new students and their parents.

The Principal of Saint Rita’s School, Adele Kosinski, stated, “Frank Pizzella is a true gentleman. He is extremely polite and courteous and is an example to his peers. He is one of the first to volunteer and exhibits poise and maturity in his leadership.”

Frank was the recipient of “The Lt. Chuck Margiotta Award” for outstanding commitment and dedication to the Saint Rita’s Basketball Program. The director of the program, Anthony Giumenta, stated, “Frank played a big role in the basketball program this year helping out at our weekly clinic for younger players. Frank is an all-around good person that I am proud to have gotten to know over the course of my time here at St. Rita’s. He has set an excellent example for the younger players in the program while teaching them the fundamentals of the game. I hope that his respect, dedication, character, and drive are imitated by others, and for all of these reasons, I feel Frank Pizzella is a fantastic candidate for the Terry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship.”

Frank has been accepted to the Saint Peter’s High School Honors Program.

He currently aspires to be an FBI agent.

Congratulations, Frank!

Peter Rotondo Awarded “The Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship” for 2014

Peter Rotondo

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that Peter Rotondo has been awarded “The Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship” for 2014.

Peter is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and is a graduate of Saint Rita’s school where he was involved with many volunteer activities including serving as an altar server and as a volunteer with Project Homefront packing supplies for our soldiers.

One of Peter’s teachers, Gloria Sperrazza stated, “Peter has been one of my top students. He is focused, responsible, and dependable. In the classroom, Peter is always eager to participate. He’s a hard-working student, who demonstrates excellent study habits and works to his fullest potential. Peter values diversity in his daily activities and has assisted in the planning and coordination of many community events. Overall, Peter Rotondo is an exceptional young man.”

Peter was also captain of his football team where he played linebacker and tight end. His coach, George Thomas, stated, “Peter is determined to excel at everything he does, whether it is giving back to the community through community service, attaining excellence in the classroom or demonstrating leadership skills in team sports. Peter leads by example and puts the team first. Peter is an excellent student but more importantly a young man who exhibits great character, leadership, and integrity. He is committed to helping those around him and would be a worthy recipient of the Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship.”

Frank has been accepted to the Saint Peter’s High School Scholars Program.

He currently aspires to have a career in the Army.

Congratulations, Peter!

Kristen Blanchard Awarded “The Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” for 2014

Kristen Blanchard

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that Kristen Blanchard has been awarded “The Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” for 2014. Kristen is an outstanding eighth grade honors student at the Rocco Laurie Intermediate School 72 in Graniteville.

Kristen’s Italian teacher, Francine Robles, stated, “I can say without reservation that Kristen demonstrates several qualities of being an excellent student. She is punctual to class, always has her homework in on time, and participates in class on a daily basis. Her enthusiasm is evident in everything she does. Kristen is dedicated outside the classroom as well. She has volunteered as my service monitor and has proven to be outstanding. No task is too difficult. She is a natural at getting things done promptly and correctly and always has a smile on her face.”

Kristen is a talented baseball player and hopes to continue playing for Moore Catholic High School. She was the starting catcher for the Mid Island Little League All Star team that won the New York State Championship in 2013. Kristen also plays multiple positions for the Staten Island Saints Fast Pitch Softball Club.

Kristen actively supports and participates in her community. She has been volunteering with The Travis 4th of July Parade Committee since she was five years old and became an official junior member in 2011. This parade is a tradition that began in 1911. Her year-round volunteer efforts include parade preparation, fundraising, and formation, dismissal, and clean-up of the event. Kristen also takes it upon herself to recruit additional junior members to keep this tradition alive and to be able to thank our Veterans.

Kristen has also been a valuable member to the Travis Civic Association where she has undertaken tasks such as distributing flyers, assisting in the planting of bulbs and annual flowers at Independence Park, and the periodic clean-ups at Sylvan Cemetery and Schmul Park Ball Field. She also assists in the shoveling of snow and collection of leaves for senior citizens.

For all of the above reasons, we are excited and proud to have Kristen as our latest member of the Maverick Foundation Team. We look forward to sharing in her future successes at Moore Catholic High School and helping her dreams and aspirations come true.

Scholarship Recipients Recognized for Congressional Award Medal Achievements

Victoria Vega, a senior at Moore Catholic High School and the 2010 “Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” recipient, was approved for the Gold Medal that is the highest level awarded by The Congressional Award Program. Victoria, who is an inductee into the National Honor Society and is a First Honors Student in the Presentation Scholars Academy, volunteered as a peer tutor at Moore Catholic and volunteered as an administrative assistant at the NYPD Satellite Office as well as an assistant coach at Saint Teresa’s Basketball and Baseball Clinics.

Jordan, Victoria, Amy, Genevieve, Jessica, and Sarah

Jessica Halter, a junior at Moore Catholic High School and a 2011 “Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” co-recipient, was also approved for the Gold Medal. Jessica, who is an inductee into the National Honor Society and a Principal’s List Student in the Presentation Scholars Academy, volunteered at Meals on Wheels assisting with deliveries and at Walker Park Summer Day Camp as an assistant counselor. Jessica was also a member of the Moore Catholic’s Art Club.

Jordan Marino, a junior at Moore Catholic High School and a 2011 “Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” co-recipient, was approved for the Silver Medal. Jordan volunteers at the Theater Group and Summer Camp for Holy Rosary Parish. Jordan is also an active volunteer with the Staten Island Special Olympics.

Sarah Primiano, a sophomore at Moore Catholic High School, who is a First Honor’s Student in the Presentation Scholar’s Academy and the 2012 “Gullickson McGuire Memorial Scholarship” recipient, was approved for the Bronze Medal. Sarah volunteered at YMCA Day Camp in West Brighton and with 436 Family Readiness Group that supports our military. Sarah is active in Dance and Band where she is a flute player at Moore Catholic.

Ryan, Thomas, and Santo

Ryan Buraus, a sophomore at St. Peter’s Boys High School and the 2012 “Terry Sweeney Memorial Scholarship” recipient, was approved for the Bronze Medal. Ryan is a student in Saint Peter’s Honors Program where he consistently achieves First Honors throughout his freshman and sophomore years. Ryan is a member of the Student Council, the LaSallian Youth Group, wrote articles for the school’s newspaper “The Eagle” and is a member of the school’s bowling team. He is also a life scout in the Boy Scouts with Troop 7 and is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout.

Thomas Walsh, a sophomore at St. Peter’s Boys High School and the 2012 “Coach Bill Hodge Memorial Scholarship” recipient, was approved for the Bronze Medal. Thomas is a student in Saint Peter’s Scholars Program where he consistently achieves First Honors throughout his freshman and sophomore years. Ryan is a member of Saint Peter’s Football, Baseball, Swimming, and Bowling teams. Thomas attended a Congressional National Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC. He is also a member of the Saint Peter’s Interact Club that is affiliated with the Mid-Island Rotary and volunteers at High Rock Park.

John Borovilas, a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School and National Honor Society Member, was approved for the Silver Medal. John volunteered in a lab with the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities that focused on finding a possible cause and cure for autism. John also volunteered 54 hours as a Chemistry tutor at Brooklyn Technical High School. For an expedition trip, John explored the Appalachian Mountains where he visited a Cherokee Indian Reservation and zip lined over 200 foot deep ravines.

Maverick Foundation Featured on Congressional Award Foundation Blog

 

The Maverick Foundation is proud to announce that we were featured on the Congressional Award Foundation Blog on February 24, 2012. Please follow the link to read.

http://congressionalaward.tumblr.com/post/18205592691/congressional-award-advisor-and-maverick-foundation