Rather than exchanging presents this Christmas, the Anzivine family chose a gift of a different kind — a scholarship fund to help a student whose family has been affected by cancer — in memory of their aunt, Laurie Anzivine.
“This year instead of receiving gifts from their Aunt Lynn and Uncle Lee and Aunt Kay and Uncle Lenny, Shea [Payne], Katlyn [Kreischer], Chance, Alex, Olivia, Luciano and Noelle [Anzivine]” decided they would rather help a soon-to-be-college student in memory of their Aunt Laurie Anzivine,” said Lynn Anzivine.
“These now young adults witnessed their aunt, as young children, face her battle with breast cancer,” Ms. Anzivine said. “They lived it with her, all the while maintaining their daily life and dealing with the hurt of losing her.”
And so, the Laurie Anzivine Memorial Scholarship, established at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, will be available to area students, beginning in 2017, who have been affected by a loved one’s cancer diagnosis.
Any graduating student within a 30-mile radius of Olean who will be attending a 4-year college and has had an immediate family member or guardian go through cancer treatment will be eligible to receive the scholarship, though preference will be for a Cattaraugus County graduate.
The recipient must also be in good academic standing. Financial need will not be a factor.
As part of the application students also will need to submit an essay of 350 words or less explaining what he or she learned from his/her family member or guardian who struggled with cancer, the impact it left on him/her and what advice the student would give to someone else who may face the same situation.
“She inspired me to better myself and other people and that if you can make a positive impact on someone’s life or just brighten someone’s day, then you should do it,” said Noelle Anzivine of her Aunt Laurie. “She taught me compassion and love and to be a friend to anyone who needs one.”
Noelle’s sister, Olivia, spoke of learning those same lessons from her Aunt Laurie — the type of lessons that would drive the choice to establish this scholarship.
“She’s taught me how to find the good in everyone and always be the best person I can be. Also to care and love with your whole heart,” she said.
The first award from the Laurie Anzivine Memorial Scholarship endowed fund initially will provide a $250 scholarship to an area student. Laurie’s nieces and nephews who together established the scholarship will review the applications and recommend a recipient.
According to Ms. Anzivine, the scholarship is rooted in both generosity and solidarity.
“The scholarship is meant to lighten a little burden for a college freshman, but also letting that person know that these young adults felt your pain and understand what it is like to watch a family member suffer,” she said.
“These young people are doing an incredible thing that really captures the spirit of the philanthropy in a unique way,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “We at the Foundation feel fortunate to help them assist students facing the same difficult time they faced as children and providing some comfort as well.”
Donations can be made to the Laurie Anzivine Memorial Scholarship Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.
Established in 1994, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).