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Scholarships remember community favorites

This year’s Daniel Ward scholarship also recalls Bob Carney

Forrest Burnetter will be attending Schenectady County Community College for an associate’s degree in culinary arts (and perhaps a dual degree in applied science) for hotel and restaurant management. Submitted photo.

Forrest Burnetter will be attending Schenectady County Community College for an associate’s degree in culinary arts (and perhaps a dual degree in applied science) for hotel and restaurant management. Submitted photo.

— Years after the fact, the Ballston community’s giving spirit is still benefiting students. Three recent high school graduates are heading to school this fall with a little extra help thanks to scholarships funded by community donations.

Carney’s Tavern is one of many to have awarded scholarships to Burnt Hill-Ballston Lake High School seniors at Honors Night on May 23. This is the tavern’s third year to award a Daniel Ward Memorial Scholarship. Three students entering the field of hospitality, Daniel Olbrych, Emily Durrant and Forrest Burnetter, were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

“(All) of the scholarships are a tremendous advantage and blessing for us,” said BH-BL High School Principal Maryellen Symer. She added that when members of the community attend Honors Night and share stories it is “really something special” for everyone.

The scholarships were made possible through past generosity. A fundraiser Carney’s held several years ago to fund the purchase of a scoreboard in memory of Ward ended up collecting $20,000 above what was needed. These recent scholarships were given out in the memory of Bob Carney, too, after he died in February.

Ward was a bartender at the tavern for 27 years before his death in 2009. Both men are fondly remembered by many in the community.

“I hope they will continue with their education and go into the field … and always remember their roots back in Burnt Hills,” said Rosemary Carney, widow of Bob Carney, of the graduates.

Each student who applied for the scholarships was required to write an essay about their hopes and dreams.

Daniel Olbrych, 18, will attend Johnson and Wales University to pursue a degree in culinary arts and nutrition. The extra bit of cash will give him a hand with buying books and a computer for his first year on campus. He said he wrote his essay about cooking soup at the age of six for his mother.

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