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Media Room

News Releases / 2010

College-bound Volunteers Earn Maria Cavallo Scholarships

Ventura California, 07/13/2010

Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary awarded five members of the hospital’s Junior Volunteers program who plan to pursue careers in healthcare with scholarships totaling $5,000 from its Maria Cavallo Scholarship Fund.

The scholarships are distributed to the learning institutions the Junior Award winners attend in the fall.  When the recipients provide their student ID numbers and education choices the funds are sent from the Maria Cavallo Scholarship Fund.

The recipients – Bryson Edgar ($2,000), Daniel Moorehead ($1,000), Gabriel Fregoso ($1,000), Ashley McCracken and Mia Abboud ($500) – all graduated in June from local high schools and will be attending college in the fall.

Edgar, a Ventura High graduate with a 4.17 grade-point average, will attend the University of California at Berkeley with the goal of becoming a hospital administrator. He began volunteering at CMH in September of 2007 and has worked over 650 hours as a front desk receptionist/flyer, back desk receptionist and as Junior Volunteers co-chair. Edgar was chosen to attend the Benefactors’ Ball in 2009 because of his outstanding leadership and number of hours worked at the hospital. He shadowed Dr. James Woodburn during surgeries in August of 2008.

Moorhead graduated from Foothill Technology High with a 3.89 GPA and will major in molecular biology at UC Santa Cruz. He wants to become a pharmacist. Moorhead began volunteering at CMH in April of 2007, and since that time he has worked over 280 hours in the hospital’s pharmacy. Daniel also has tutored at the Boys and Girls Club, having put in 40 hours there.  He has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America for five years, reaching the Eagle Scout rank.

Fregoso also graduated from Foothill Technology High, earning a 4.26 GPA. He will major in molecular environmental biology with the goal of becoming a physician. Fregoso is interested in doing pharmaceutical research in the healthcare industry. He has volunteered at CMH since April of 2008, serving over 225 hours as a front receptionist/flyer. Fregoso also was selected to attend the Benefactors’ Ball in 2009 because of his hours of service to the hospital.

Abboud, another graduate of Foothill Technology High with a 3.6 GPA, will attend Northern Arizona University and major in biology. She wants to become a pediatrician. Abboud has volunteered at CMH for just a little over a year and worked more than 125 hours in both Maternity Services and the pharmacy. In addition, Abboud has volunteered for the past three years with City Corps, Caregivers and Soldiers Angels, giving about 55 hours with those nonprofit organizations. 

McCracken, also is a graduate of Foothill High School with a 3.22 GPA, will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK with a double major of athletic training and pre med. She would like to attend medical school in order to serve in the sports medicine field. McCracken has volunteered at CMH since June of 2009 serving for 266.5+ hours as Front Desk Receptionist/Flyer, and as a Back Desk Receptionist. In addition, McCracken has volunteered at the Humane Society, and Soldiers Angels, putting in 26 hours for those organizations.

The Maria Cavallo Fund provides scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors who have served at least 100 hours in the auxiliary, have maintained a 3.0 GPA or better, and who will be attending an accredited college or university and taking courses in the healthcare field. Recipients must be planning to pursue a healthcare career as a physician, nurse, physical therapist, pharmacist, etc. Maria Cavallo’s family established the fund in memory of the 15,000 hours she gave as a CMH Auxiliary member.

At the end of the presentation of the awards, Dan Rusthoi, nephew of Maria, congratulated the recipients and their parents.  He wanted to personalize Maria and make her specialness understood.  When her husband passed, she was devastated.  What brought her back to her family was her 15 years of dedication to Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary voluntary service.  The Maria Cavallo Scholarship Fund was created from her savings.  After her death her nephew decided to donate her savings in her memory and created the Fund.  As Dan closed his remarks, he wished the winners “God speed as you go on to college.

Contributions to the fund are made throughout the year from auxiliary members, CMH employees and the public. Gifts may be a donation, or a gift provided in memory or in honor of anyone the donor wishes to remember.

To donate, call the Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation office at 805-667-2881.

Community Memorial Hospital is a member of Community Memorial Health System, a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and nine family-practice health centers entitled Centers for Family Health.  The health system is located in Ventura County, California.

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