Riley Foundation awards 21 scholarships

The Charlie Riley Community Service Scholarship Foundation celebrated a milestone at its annual awards ceremony on Nov. 9 where the foundation surpassed the $100,000 mark in scholarships given out in the past six years to Harford County high school students and fire/EMS personnel.

The foundation awarded $24,000 in scholarships during the ceremony held at the Level Fire Company.

The scholarship program honors the memory of the late Charles W. Riley, a 52-year-member and chief of Abingdon Fire Company as well as a member of the Harford-Cecil Volunteer Firemen's Association and Maryland State Fireman's Association Hall of Fame. Mr. Riley was also a past president of the Maryland State Firemen's Association and served under four governors as chairman of the state's fire training commission.

Organizers of this year's banquet and awards ceremony said it was a great night to award scholarships honoring young men and women in the local community who have volunteered their services.

This year, 21 scholarships out of a possible 24 were presented, 12 to seniors from Harford County high schools and nine to Harford County fire and EMS volunteers.

These honorees have served their neighbors through community service, extracurricular activities and leadership. They are all "Doers of the Word," the foundation's motto.

The high school honorees, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward higher education, are: Tony Cofrancesco, Havre De Grace High School; Brianna Coleman, Harford Christian School; Steven Rivers Jr., Joppatowne High School; Ashley Scott, Patterson Mill High School; Zachary Schumm, North Harford High School; Brooke Watson, C. Milton Wright High School; Patrick Sawyers, Harford Technical High School: Kristina Dziki, Fallston High School; Maggie Cassidy, John Carroll High School; Hannah Stambaugh, Bel Air High School; and Shelby Thies, Aberdeen High School.

The grand prize award winner, receiving an additional $1,500 scholarship, is Cynthia Ford from Edgewood High School.

The fire and EMS Service honorees, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward higher education, are: Stacey Holden, Bel Air VFC (Volunteer Fire Company); Gretchen Griffith, Fallston VFC; Cathleen Batton, Level VFC; Samantha Sheehan, Norrisville VFC; Taylor Miller, Susquehanna Hose Company; Jessica Childress, Havre De Grace Ambulance Corps; Emily Worthington, Aberdeen Fire Company and Joseph Brush, Joppa-Magnolia VFC.

The grand prize award winner, receiving an additional $1,500 scholarship, is Elizabeth Roberts from Abingdon Fire Company.

The Riley Scholarship Foundation's directors said they are very proud of all the scholarship winners and the banquet was a huge success. Among those attending were Mr. Riley's widow, Phoebe V. "Sis" Riley, and Mr. Riley's sons, Charles A. "Chip" Riley and Bruce Riley.

Two additional awards were bestowed at this year's banquet. The foundation's Support Award was given to Charles "Bunky" Morkosky.

The foundation's Service Award was given to Tony Belcastro.

The foundation also honored its honorary board members for 2011: Roger Powell, Larry Richardson, Del. Jim Malone, Paul Edmeades, Helen Ryan and Christian Giansante.

The foundation directors thanked Richard Brooks, Level Fire Company, Tri-State Trophies, Paul Austin, Harford County Public Schools' Dr. Jonathan Brown, Harford County Fireman's Association's Bill Dousa, Harford County Council President Billy Boniface, State Sen. Barry Glassman, County Councilman Dion Guthrie, State Dels. Wayne Norman, Del. Jim Malone and Johnny Valentini.

For more information about the Charlie Riley Community Service Scholarship Foundation and how to help honor deserving Harford County young people, go to the foundation's website at

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