Boldt Great-Grandson Thanks Donors, Recognizes Three Jefferson County High School Seniors
ALEXANDRIA BAY — Three Jefferson County high school seniors were recently named recipients of the inaugural Northern New York Community Foundation George C. Boldt Scholarship.
Alexandria Central High School students Matthew Ford and Dylan O’Connor, and Watertown High School student Abrianna Parson, were each awarded $5,000 scholarships in a ceremony at Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Alexandria Bay. The scholarship honors the legacy of the castle’s builder, noted hotelier and philanthropist George C. Boldt.
Mr. Boldt’s great-grandson, Malcolm Goodridge, has led efforts to establish the scholarship with other descendants of Mr. Boldt and dozens of North Country donors who have made gifts to the scholarship fund at the Community Foundation.
About 150 people attended a reception at Boldt Castle to honor donors and recognize scholarship recipients. Mr. Goodridge thanked all who have supported the effort and personally presented scholarship awards to the first recipients. A permanent plaque that pays tribute to founding donors will be installed in Boldt Castle in July along with a plaque that names recipients of the Boldt Scholarship. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, which owns and operates Boldt Castle as a leading tourist destination, has generously supported the scholarship program since its inception.
“George C. Boldt Sr. is looking down on all of us tonight with great pride,” Mr. Goodridge said. “Each of you gathered here have helped keep his legacy alive and share his generosity to support education for our young people.”
Like his great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States from Prussia at age 13, Mr. Goodridge said, each scholarship recipient embodies the character and perseverance to succeed despite challenging obstacles.
“They had some difficult times in the early stage of their lives — some very difficult times — and they rose above that,” Mr. Goodridge said. “They’ve been in a valley and they rose up to the peak. Today is a peak, and we are all very proud of them.”
Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director, said the outpouring of support to make the Boldt Scholarship a reality “has been inspiring.”
“We are honored to be entrusted with this meaningful expression of the Boldt legacy, not only for what it is and will accomplish, but how it forever connects donors and students to an important piece of Northern New York history and heritage,” Mr. Richardson said.
About the inaugural George C. Boldt Scholars
Matthew Ford, Alexandria Central High School, is a National Honor Society member and will graduate with a Regents Diploma. He is a varsity athlete, Frontier League All-Star, and captain of his bowling team. He also studies criminal justice at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Bohlen Technical Center. He has been accepted to SUNY Canton and plans to study forensic science and criminal investigations. Matthew aspires to serve in the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Throughout high school, Matthew has participated in FFA, American Kang Duk Won Karate, and volunteers for local highway clean-ups and fishing derbies.
Dylan O’Connor, Alexandria Central High School, is salutatorian of his class and will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors. He has been accepted to a seven-year pharmacy program at Daemen College and the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is a National Honor Society member and loves math, science, languages and music. Throughout high school, he has participated in French Club, Whiz Quiz Team, Booster Band, and the River Rat Rhythm Project. Dylan is also a four-time participant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., and volunteers annually for Relay for Life and the Race for a Cure.
Abrianna Parson, Watertown High School, is a varsity athlete, basketball team captain, and Frontier League All Star who will graduate with a Regents Diploma. She also studies nursing at the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Bohlen Technical Center, where her instructor praised her as a “role model for other nursing students.” She has been accepted to the nursing program at Onondaga Community College and aspires to practice nursing at her hometown hospital upon completion of her undergraduate education and licensing. After experience as a Registered Nurse, Abrianna plans to pursue graduate studies to become a Nurse Practitioner in her community.
About the George C. Boldt Scholarship
Following a summer 2017 family gathering at Boldt Castle, descendants of famed hotelier George C. Boldt, led by Mr. Goodridge, decided to create a permanent scholarship fund to forever benefit Jefferson County students. The Northern New York Community Foundation was selected to administer the scholarship, which honors Boldt’s legacy of service.
Mr. Boldt, (1851-1916) a one-time proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, is known for his influence on development of the urban hotel as a civic social center and luxury destination. He and his family also left a philanthropic legacy that, among other things, emphasized education. In 1922, Mr. Boldt’s son, George C. Jr., established a scholarship program at Cornell University that bears his father’s name. According to an April 24, 1923, story in the “Cornell Daily Sun,” the elder Mr. Boldt “always sympathized with an eager student whose only impediment to higher education was a lack of funds.” During his lifetime, Mr. Boldt also helped put at least 75 people through college, doing so anonymously. It is fitting that this legacy continues through the Northern New York Community Foundation George C. Boldt Scholarship.
Jefferson County residents pursuing full-time undergraduate study — either in college, technical, vocational, or trade school — may apply. Applications are accepted from high school seniors or nontraditional students. The scholarship is a one-year award of up to $5,000 with three awards this year. Recipients are chosen based on academic performance, personal data, essay scores, and letters of recommendation. Students should show promise and potential and have demonstrated an interest in and service to their communities.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life in communities across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, generous individual donors and families, and charitable foundations, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving enduring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for donors, local charitable organizations, and professional advisors. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.