Submitted photos and press release:
The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Scholarship Dinner will be held at Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14. There will be a cash bar followed by an Italian buffet at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at Ben’s Appliance, VJ Gautieri Construction or from any board member.
Outstanding Italian Americans will be honored and the recipient of the Paolo Busti Scholarship will be named.
The following scholarship applicants are all high school seniors in the Class of 2017.
Alexis "Lexi" Hoerner, pictured above, attends Batavia High School where she holds an overall GPA of 95 and ranks 19th in a class of 175. Lexi is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Art Honor Society. She has received numerous honors and awards, including a commendation in the 2016 Congressional Art Competition NY 27th District, and the Bob Heischman Award for Excellence in Creativity in Drawing as well as various school awards for outstanding achievement in art, printmaking, portfolio, sculpture, and excellence and creativity in drawing.
Lexi is a member of the BHS varsity swim team and has volunteered with various local community organizations including the Lions Club, YWCA, Crossroads House, and Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She has also served as a BHS Link Leader and with the Art Department Stage Crew at Batavia High School.
Lexi plans to attend Canisius College in the fall where she will continue her studies in Studio Art.
Alexis is the daughter of Karen Cutitta and Michael Hoerner.
Gabrielle "Gabby" Della Pena, in photo at right, has participated in dancing, soccer, and cheerleading at Notre Dame High School. She was captain on varsity soccer team in high school, and was awarded the Leadership Award at the end of her senior season. She is a scholar athlete, and was a dancer in the highest dance company since she was 11 years old.
She is currently employed at Olympia Sports in Batavia. This job has given her incredible communication skills, leadership qualities and patience. She volunteers at the NYS Veterans Home in Batavia. She helps in the business office with medical records and also has helped with the residents when needed.
She feels her work ethic has come from being a part of a sports team, volunteer and working with different people at Olympia. She would be a different person if she did not experience all she has, especially in her last four years at Notre Dame High School. Gabby plans on attending Niagara University in the fall and major in Biology.
Gabrielle is the daughter of Rocco and Janice Della Penna, of Batavia.
Lyndsey Rowland, at left, is a senior at Notre Dame High School and will be graduating with honors. After high school she is planning on going to Genesee Community College in Batavia to study in the Health Studies program before going to a University. Lyndsey has dedicated many hours to studying for the various college and AP courses. She hopes to study Pharmacology after her two years at GCC.
Lyndsey has dedicated many hours to various activities in high school. She has participated in band, chorus, drama club, JV and varsity volleyball, track and field, DECA, business club, National Honor Society and high honor roll. She has also participated in various events outside of school, including youth group and nursery at Grace Baptist Church, Genesee Cancer Assistance fundraisers, club volleyball, teen leadership conference, youth seminars and mission trips.
When Lyndsey is not participating in sports and various clubs at school, she works hard at home with her many chores and household work.
Lyndsey is the daughter of Scott and Karen Rowland, of Perry.
Serena Strollo-Di Censo, pictured right, is a senior at Batavia High School. After transferring from Notre Dame during her sophomore year she remained involved in sports, music, and volunteering at BHS and became actively involved in music, theater, band and community theater.
She is president of Tri-M National Music Honor Society and treasurer and historian of the Production Club. At Batavia High School she had lead roles in "Hairspray," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Mary Poppins."
As President of Tri-M, she established a sock drive in tandem with the Zonta Club to benefit the Salvation Army. This sock drive was a true high point for Serena.
Serena is attending the University at Buffalo in the fall with a double major in History and Theater with a minor in Italian. Her goal is to become an entertainment industry lawyer working with women in that industry who are historically under represented.
Serena is the daughter of Anita Strollo, of Batavia, and Joseph DiCenso, of Williamsville.
Karson Antonia Richenberg, bottom right, is a senior at Byron-Bergen High School. She plans to attend the University of Buffalo to study Psychology.
Her interests include track and field, soccer and basketball. Her hobbies are hiking, running, visiting historical places, and volunteering her time to different community activities.
She is a Scholar Athlete, and also received the Triple C Award from the New York State Attorney General for her “Character, Courage and Commitment.” She has been awarded the Human Services Scholarship for her involvement in the community and her plan to pursue a career in Psychology.
Karson prides herself on her ability to overcome adverse situations and never losing her positive outlook on life and the future. She has been able to do this through her faith in God. Karson enjoys making lifelong memories with her family and friends and never taking any moment for granted.
She is the daughter of Eric and Antonia Richenberg.