ICI general meeting attendees were caught by surprise when Nicholas Green luncheon organizers announced that this year's event, a fixture at the ICI event for ten years, would be the last.
The luncheon awards scholarships to gifted children and is dedicated to Nicholas Green, killed at seven years of age while vacationing in Italy with his parents, Reg and Maggie Green. The Greens donated their son's organs to seven Italians awaiting transplants and have since tirelessly championed organ donation through the Nicholas Green foundation
. The scholarships awarded at the luncheon are sponsored by ICI members.
The winner of this year's Scholarship Fund was Christian Garcia, a high school senior living on a Native American reservation determined to become a doctor. Anna Blackburn, a ten-year old writer, artist and performer, was awarded the Gifted Children prize. Scholarship finalists were Bryan Maus, Erin Rosen-Watson, Matthew Ahn, and Christina Koller.
Although the luncheon is not an official part of the ICI membership meeting, luncheon organizer Robert Powell said that he has worked closely with the trade group and that ICI staff attended almost all of the past ten luncheons.
Reg Green and lunch organizer Powell expressed that the lunch had "run its course," but many in the industry were saddened by the news that the event was ending and expressed interest in continuing it, added Powell.
The scholarship will continue but the luncheon will end, unless other organizers step up to the challenge. Powell and fellow co-organizer, Cheryl Singleton, expect to hear back from potential organizers to "hand the baton" to in a few weeks.
Over ten years, the fund has raised over $150,000, with half going out to scholarships. The remaining money will go to future scholarships and to the Nicholas Green Foundation, said Powell.
The 2004 scholarship was supported by American Funds, Bowne & Co., DALBAR, Enterprise Capital Management, Kasina, Millennium Media Consulting, State Street Research, The Academy of Financial Services Studies, Precision Marketing Partners and Thomson Media.
The National Association for Gifted Children administers the scholarship.
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