By Shannon Anastasio
The Wellington Community Foundation hosted its annual Thank You Soirée on Thursday, May 18 at the Boynton Financial Group offices in Wellington. The event celebrated this year’s Arle and Ken Adams Scholarship recipients, embodying the foundation’s commitment to supporting educational endeavors within the community.
The soirée, which featured a vibrant tropical theme, was made possible by the generous hosting of Ben and Joanna Boynton and the dedicated team at the Boynton Financial Group. With catering by Nosh Catering and an array of wine selections provided by Star Wine & Spirits, the evening was a resounding success.
Recognizing and honoring the foundation’s supporters, donors and volunteers was the top priority at the event. The annual Thank You Soirée was conceived as an opportunity for the Wellington Community Foundation to express gratitude to the individuals whose crucial support enables the nonprofit’s efforts. These sponsors, donors and volunteers play a pivotal role in empowering the foundation’s work. In his opening remarks, Wellington Community Foundation Chair Barry Manning emphasized their invaluable contributions and the importance of their continued support.
Also honored were the winners of the 2023 Arle and Ken Adams Scholarships. Scholarship Committee chairs James Seder, Joanna Boynton and Don Gross recommended the winners to the WCF Board of Directors at the May meeting. After meticulous review of numerous applications, the committee unanimously chose three outstanding candidates — Marlena Hutchinson, Abigail Lofstead and Victoria Loredan, whose achievements and dedication shine brightly.
The Arle and Ken Adams Scholarship recipients impressed the committee, the board and attendees as their accomplishments were read aloud.
Marlena Hutchinson, a student at Wellington High School, finished with a weighted GPA of 5.09 and has amassed 281 hours of community service. Her involvement as a leader in the Florida Future Educators of America club and her dedication to volunteering with the Best Buddies program highlight her commitment to education and inclusivity. Hutchinson aspires to be a pediatric occupational therapist, and she will be attending the University of Florida to pursue her dreams.
Abigail Lofstead, a student at Palm Beach Central High School, has demonstrated exceptional academic prowess with a weighted GPA of 5.27, ranking fifth in her class. With 253 hours of community service, she has exemplified a strong sense of civic duty. Lofstead’s passion for empowering women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math led her to found the Women in STEM club at Palm Beach Central. She will attend the University of Florida, aspiring to become a pediatrician. When not studying, Lofstead also enjoys snorkeling.
Victoria Loredan, a student at Wellington High School, stands out as an exceptional leader with a weighted GPA of 5.38, ranking second in her class. Alongside her 192 hours of community service, Loredan’s involvement in various organizations like the Black Leadership Achievement Student Team (BLAST) showcases her dedication to empowering her peers. Her goal is to become a pediatric psychiatrist. Loredan, like the other winners, is headed to the University of Florida to continue her education.
The legacy of late Wellington philanthropists Arle and Ken Adams live on through their many efforts throughout the village, and the foundation continues to honor their tremendous contributions to the community through its first scholarship program. These remarkable individuals, longtime residents of Wellington, dedicated their lives to serving the community.
Ken Adams, a former Palm Beach County commissioner and supporter of the village’s incorporation, believed that Wellington’s accomplishments were made possible by great people and leaders who care about future generations. He enthusiastically joined the foundation’s inaugural board of directors when it became an independent nonprofit organization, and the scholarship created in honor of both him and his late wife Arle brought him great pride, which he expressed prior his passing in 2020.
The Arle and Ken Adams Scholarship is just one of the many ways that the Wellington Community Foundation demonstrates its commitment to supporting Wellington students in their pursuit of educational success. The scholarship program serves as a beacon of hope for those in need of a helping hand to become tomorrow’s leaders.
In addition to the scholarship program, the Wellington Community Foundation remains dedicated to providing ongoing support to local students. This year, the foundation will be distributing 600 new school uniforms and 600 backpacks filled with essential school supplies. These foundation initiatives aim to alleviate the financial burden on families and ensure that every child has the necessary tools to thrive academically.
The Thank You Soirée provided a joyous occasion to celebrate the Arle and Ken Adams Scholarship recipients and express gratitude to the foundation’s dedicated supporters. The evening was filled with appreciation, camaraderie and the shared vision of creating a brighter future for Wellington’s students. Through scholarships, uniform donations and school supply provisions, the foundation continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of young individuals, ensuring that they have the resources they need to succeed. Through these efforts, the Wellington Community Foundation helps foster a thriving educational environment that empowers students and builds a stronger, more vibrant community.
To learn more about the Wellington Community Foundation, or if you would like to contribute to the nonprofit’s many ongoing initiatives, visit online at www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org. By getting involved, you can play an active role in building a stronger community and empowering future generations to achieve their educational goals.