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Matlacha Hookers award 11 ‘Hooked on Education’ Scholarships

May 23, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha Hookers awarded 11 scholarships during its May 14 meeting at House of Omlets in Cape Coral. Each recipient received $2,000 to be used at any post-secondary institution of his or her choosing.

"Tonight is a very exciting night for the Matlacha Hookers," scholarship committee member Dee Hanks said. "We will present 11 very deserving students with scholarships for $2,000 each. These scholarships are very important to these students and often make the difference whether they can continue their education or not."

Dakotah Goetz was awarded the "Island Crab Co." scholarship in honor of Tausha Haugland presented by the Matlacha Hookers. He is attending the University of South Florida, majoring in information studies.

Article Photos

The Matlacha Hookers' scholarship winners included, from left, Emily Lewis, Andrea Gonzalez, Julia Robertson, April Williamson (for Jessica Hill), Brittany Newman, Kenneth Smith, Armando Perez and Dakotah Goetz. Other Hooker scholarship winners not pictured included Brooke Benjamin, Jessy McLean and Ryan Robertson.


Jessica Hill was also awarded the "Island Crab Co." scholarship in honor of Tausha Haugland presented by the Matlacha Hookers. She is attending the University of North Florida, majoring in technical theatre costume design.

Brooke Benjamin will be attending the University of North Florida majoring in Mmarketing with a minor in psychology. She received a "Hooked on Education" scholarship.

Brittany Newman was awarded the "Pine Island Elementary" scholarship presented by the Matlacha Hookers. She is attending Florida SouthWestern State College and majoring in Nursing.

Andrea Gonzalez will be attending Florida Southwestern. She will be majoring in nursing.

Emily Lewis was awarded the "Women of the Trades" scholarship presented by the Matlacha Hookers. She will be attending Southern Technical College and plans to major in medical assistant studies.

Jessy McLean is attending Emory University. She is majoring in human health and nutrition science.

Armando Perez will attend Florida SouthWestern State College. He will major in business.

Julia Robertson will attend the University of Florida. She will major in animal studies with equine specialization.

Kenneth Smith will attend Fort Myers Technical College. He will major in marine outboard technician studies.

Ryan Robertson was awarded the "Logan Rabinette Memorial" scholarship presented by the Matlacha Hookers. He is attending Florida State University and continues to major in chemical engineering.

"We're very excited that we have two students receiving scholarships for technical college," Hanks said. "Some students may not want to pursue a college degree and prefer one of the trades. One of our recipients tonight wants to repair marine engines."

"The Matlacha Hookers want to congratulate all of the scholarship recipients and their families for their time and hard work," Peg Cruckshank said. "I also want to thank all of the Hookers who did all of the hard work to raise the money for these scholarships. Job well done."

The total amount the Matlacha Hookers have awarded through the "Hooked On Education" Scholarships since 2003 is $147,200.

Hooker History

In 1998, 21 women got together and decided to "make a positive difference in their community." This was the beginning of the charitable organization "Matlacha Hookers." Since then hundreds of women have joined and their husbands formed the Matlacha Mariners. The "Hookers" raise money and donate to the Beacon of H.O.P.E., F.I.S.H. (Friendly Islanders Sending Help), Pine Island Food Pantry, Pine Island Elementary School and Blood Drives. They also assist: American Legion, Chamber of Commerce Mango Mania, ArtFest Fort Myers, Matlacha Mariner events, From Our hearts and many others. Any woman over 21 can join by filling out an application and paying the annual dues of $20.



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