Thursday, April 24, 2014
Scholarship money is worth the effort By Dr. Anthony Policastro

We are approaching the time of year when high school seniors are making final preparations for college. Part of these preparations include looking for sources of funding for college. There are many opportunities for scholarship money. Unfortunately, large numbers of eligible individuals do not apply. I have been the director of a local scholarship program for the last eight years. We give at least $1,000 per year. Because it is local, there are a limited number of individuals that are eligible. Despite that fact most eligible students never bother applying. I know that there are a minimum of 20 individuals who qualify every year. Most years I get about three applications. One might wonder why that is the case. The primary reason is likely procrastination. Some do not get around to asking for an application, others do not fill it out in a timely fashion and some leave part of the application incomplete. This is true for any kind of scholarship. Related to that is procrastination in doing things that would be important. Most scholarship programs look at the entire high school career of an individual. To wait until senior year to get involved in the kinds of activities that programs are looking for is to delay too long. Another reason has to do with not being aware that the program exists. Announcements are made through various means. One has to be looking to find them. For example, I looked for scholarships when my children were going to college. I was a second generation Italian with all of my grandparents coming from Italy. Italian organizations required first or second generation applicants. My children were third generation. My wife was third generation Native American. Scholarship programs required individuals to be no less than third generation. My children were all fourth generation. I looked unsuccessfully. However, I did look. A third reason has to do with the expectation that scholarship means academic or athletic ability. That is not true. There are many scholarship programs that use other criteria. The one that I oversee is weighted heavily toward community service. As is often the case, looking at scholarship funding is a partnership between the parent and child. It is something that the parent needs to encourage and be a part of. The work of filling out the application belongs to the student. Most applications are complex, however, so having a separate set of eyes to help review the application for completeness is a good idea. There are many aspects to parenting. Involvement in a high school students plan for gathering college funds is one more aspect. This job is sometimes left to the student when it should be a partnership. Parents do not often get the chance to do activities with their children. This is one activity that allows them both to participate in what might help the entire family financially.

If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Hannas Hope for a Cure The 1st Annual Hannas Hope for a Cure softball tournament to help FSMA (Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy) will be held at Crossroads Community Church in Georgetown on Saturday, May 10. Help us reach our fundraising goal of $20,000 by donating gift certificates, merchandise or funding. Hanna, daughter of Gary and Ashley Warfield of Georgetown, was diagnosed in February with SMA, a rare genetic disease that is often fatal, destroying the muscles controlling voluntary movement. For more information, contact Gary or Ashley at 858-6843 or 519-1699 or email Cash donations may be made online at

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings Residents living in and around the Laurel community can be screened on Monday, May 12, at Centenary United Methodist Church, Laurel, to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. This event is sponsored by Bayhealth Medical Center. Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. Packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit Pre-registration is required.

Form a Relay for Life team This years Relay for Life will be held on May 30-31. As in recent past years, the event will be held at Seafords Soroptomist Park, with a rain location in the parking garage at the Nanticoke Cancer Center. The theme this year is The Many Colors of Cancer: Building a Rainbow of Hope. Team formation is in progress, so it is not too late to form a team and get involved. For more information about the Relay For Life, or if you are interested in getting involved, or purchasing a luminary, contact Shelley Lambden, this years event chairperson, at rflwestsussexde@gmail or by calling 841-3626.

Blood Bank needs Type O- blood Blood Bank of Delmarva is in immediate need of Type O- blood donors. O- is a universal blood type, which can be safely transfused to any patient in a trauma or emergency situation. Because it is universal, the O- blood type is always in high demand in our local hospitals, said Michael Waite, Blood Bank of Delmarva. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or download the free app on your iPhone or Android.

Eco Fair at CHEER Center The CHEER Coastal Leisure Center will hold an Eco Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Join us for a fun and informative day.

There will be door prizes with a drawing at 1:45 p.m. The event is free and open the public. For more information, call 539-2671.

Nanticoke offers free glucose testing Nanticoke Health Services will offer free A1C glucose testing the first Wednesday of every month beginning Wednesday, May 7. The A1C test shows your average blood glucose (blood sugar) level over the past two to three months. The A1C test can help you manage your diabetes or can be an indicator if you might be at risk for diabetes. Because being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes and because diabetes has so many complications, understanding and managing your diabetes is very important to your long term health. In Sussex County 66% of residents are overweight or obese and nearly 11% of residents have been diagnosed with diabetes.You can have your free A1C glucose test done the first Wednesday of each month between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at one of the following outpatient lab locations: Nanticoke EZ Lab Georgetown  505 W Market St.; Nanticoke EZ Lab Laurel  30549 Sussex Hwy. or Nanticoke EZ Lab Bridgeville  9111 Antique Alley. You do not need to pre-register for these screenings and you do not need to fast. Results will be mailed to your home and to your primary care physician if provided. For more information about these screenings or support groups or classes for diabetes, call 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Hospice hosts special workshop Delaware Hospice presents, Remembering Mothers and Grandmothers, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 10, at the Delaware Hospice Family Support Center, Milford. Especially for adults who have lost a mother or grandmother, this workshop will include activities to facilitate remembering and honoring these individuals.  A continental breakfast will be offered. There is no fee to attend, however, registration is requested.  Register by Thursday, May 8, by contacting Michelle August at 800-838-9800 or

Annual Summer Blood Challenge Blood Bank of Delmarva will hold the 12th Annual Summer Blood Challenge from May 19 to Sept. 13. The deadline for companies and organizations to register is Tuesday, May 6. Organizations earn points based on blood donations, first time donors and more. Last year, a record 241 companies participated in the challenge, resulting in 14,308 blood donations. For more information and to register for the Summer Blood Challenge, visit

Annual Girls Night Out fundraiser The Harrington Raceway & Casino will host Milfords 3rd Annual Girls Night Out fundraiser to benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM) on Friday, May 2. There will be cash/carry vendors, desserts, drinks, entertainment/games, a raffle to win a weekend getaway, compliments of the Atlantic Sands Hotel, and a Mens Fashion Show and Auction. The model who raises the most money will earn the title, Milfords Marvelous Man 2014. Committee members include: Cheryl Doucette and Sue Ryan, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition; LuAnne Holland, Delaware Hospice; Sylvia Henderson, Milford School District; Ruth Abbate, Delaware Electric Signal; Christine Rust, M&T Bank; Kim Baker, Delaware Broadcasting; Jo Schmeiser and Laurie Judd, CCGM and Debbie Jewell, event chair, Sussex County Federal Credit Union. To purchase a ticket for $20 and to show support of your favorite model, contact the CCGM at 422-3344.

Free meals for kids this summer The Food Bank of Delaware encourages community partners to help serve free meals to children in need through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Qualified sites include faith-based organizations, summer camps, sports camps and other centers where children congregate during the summer months. Neighborhoods and apartment complexes are also qualified to serve free meals through the program. For more information, contact Dan Jackson, hunger relief coordinator, at 302-444-8128 or

Host a Fresh Air child Fresh Air volunteers need your help to create another fun-filled summer for children from New York City. First-time Fresh Air visitors are six to 12-years-old and Fresh Air hosts range from young families to grandparents. All it takes is the willingness to welcome a New York City child to your community. For more information about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, contact Nutan Chaudhari at 212-897-8934 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at

Nanticoke welcomes HR director Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Mark Habicht, MS, MBA, to the position of human resources director. As director of human resources, Habicht oversees recruitment, employee relations, and staff development functions, in addition to benefits and compensation administration for Nanticoke Health Services. His primary role is to ensure that all areas of human resources are functioning efficiently and effectively. Habicht has over 20 years of experience in human resources serving as the vice president of operations and human resources at Bennett Detective and Protection Agency Inc. in Dover and then director of human resources for Psychotherapeutic Services Inc., in Dover. Habicht retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service as a special agent in the Office of Special Investigations. He received a masters degree in business administration as well as a master of science degree in human resource management from Wilmington University.