For the third year in a row, scholarships from the Pink Pumpkin Project organization were awarded to high school students who have a relative affected by breast cancer.

Lynn Anzivine, founder of Pink Pumpkin, said this year’s $250 Laurie Anzivine Memorial Scholarships were awarded to Maggie Waugh from Portville Central High School, who will attend Geneseo College, and Heidi Sturdevant from Bolivar-Richburg High School, who will attend St. Bonaventure University.

The scholarships were presented to just one recipient in each of the past two years.

Anzivine started Pink Pumpkin in 2012 in memory of her late sister-in-law, Laurie Anzivine, who died from breast cancer in 2007. Since its inception, the organization has assisted over 400 individuals from local communities in New York and Pennsylvania.

The organization operates its fundraising efforts under the auspices of Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation. In addition, Pink Pumpkin is 100% donor-funded, is volunteer-based and helps survivors financially and emotionally.

Anzivine said the scholarship committee and program is a separate entity of Pink Pumpkin and was started by the Laurie Anzivine’s nieces, Olivia and Noelle, and nephews Shea, Chance, Alex and Luciano in her memory.

“This year, the committee had raised enough money to be able to give out two $250 scholarships,” Anzivine said. “The committee’s goal is to increase the amount of the scholarship next year.”

She noted the requirements for winning the scholarship are for local students from the area to write an essay on how the applicant, or someone in his or her immediate family, has or had cancer, how the applicant chose to deal with it and what it taught the applicant. Anzivine said the essays are submitted to her nieces who comprise the scholarship committee and determine the winners without knowing their identities.

Scholarship money is raised from various fundraisers during the year including a calendar photo shoot for a 2020 Pink Pumpkin Calendar that will cost $12 each. Breast cancer survivors interested in signing up for the photo shoot should send emails to thepinkpumpkinproject@yahoo.com.

“(Laurie Anzivine) would be very, very proud of them for all that they do,” Anzivine said of her nieces and nephews.

On a related note, Lynn Anzivine said the organization continues to raise funds and is planning its next Pink Pumpkin 5k Run/Walk fundraiser Sept. 7 at the Allegany Fireman’s Park. Participants can sign up for the 5K on the Pink Pumpkin website. In addition, the Pink Pumpkin 2020 calendars will be available at the event.

Anzivine also noted the annual Pink Pumpkin celebration to honor breast cancer fighters and survivors will be held Sept. 14 at the Bartlett Country Club in Olean. More details on both events will be released at a later date.

“We’re lucky that we have the community that we do to support us,” Anzivine remarked. “We do come from a small community, we’re not like Buffalo and Erie, so it makes it nice that all these organizations (and people) donate to us, so we can pass it on to the ladies.”

To donate to the scholarship fund, go to the website www.thepinkpumpkinproject.org.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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