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Scholarship recipients with family members and board and liaison members (Photos from Tribute and Honor Society)

Tribute and Honor Foundation Recognizes Glen Cove Seniors

By Angelina Stanco-Stone

The Tribute and Honor Foundation proudly presented the 2024 Ben Farnan Scholarships to Glen Cove High School graduates Mark LaRocca and Ruben Martinez. These outstanding individuals, who have committed to serving their country by joining the military, were each honored with a $1,000 scholarship from the foundation in acknowledgment of their commitment and patriotism. 

The award ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and community leaders.

Korean War veteran Ben Farnan, after whom the scholarship is named, was a keynote speaker at the evening’s event. 

“I am deeply impressed by Mark and Ruben, not only for their commitment to serve our nation but also for their outstanding character and achievements,” remarked Farnan. “The military is fortunate to have such dedicated and exemplary individuals joining its ranks.”

“We were deeply honored to recognize Mark and Ruben’s dedication to our nation,” stated Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews, President of the Tribute and Honor Foundation. “Their choice to serve is a profound inspiration to everyone, and we are proud to support them as they begin this significant and noble journey.”

Glen Cove High School Principal Allen Hudson said “Mark and Ruben exemplify the best of our student body. Their dedication to serving our country reflects the values we strive to instill in all our students. We are incredibly proud of their achievements and future endeavors.”

Scholarship recipients, Ruben Martinez and Mark LaRocca

Mark LaRocca is a high school senior graduating with the class of 2024 at Glen Cove High School and Nassau BOCES Barry Technical High School. He is an honors student and a four-year, three-season scholar-athlete. 

LaRocca held leadership positions in DECA, Student Senate, Ski Club, TV Studio and Bands. Mark is an active member of Shelter Rock Church in Syosset, participating in the youth group and Bible study. With the support of his family, Mark connected with a Navy recruiter during a college fair in his sophomore year and enlisted in the U.S. Navy via their Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in the summer of 2023.

Ruben Martinez, also a high school senior graduating with the class of 2024 at Glen Cove High School, excelled in sports as a member of the baseball, track, and basketball teams. He was involved in clubs such as Chess, Anime, Mindfulness and DECA and completed over 900 hours of community service during high school. Inspired by a family friend who served in the Marines, Ruben decided in his sophomore year to join the Marines and will enter boot camp at Parris Island in August.

Martinez’s involvement with Glen Cove EOC, including the Summer Youth Program and various community initiatives, has been pivotal in fostering his dedication to service. Ruben credits his mom, Anna Perez, and teachers for their support.

The event’s opening blessing was led by Liaison Members Wayne and Lisa Cohen with Patriot Guard Riders of New York and Rolling Thunder, Inc. The pledge was led by Veteran Liaison Members including VFW Post 347 Vice Commander Howard Stillwagon and Glenwood Landing American Legion Post 336 Luke Whitting, and the closing blessing was led by Shelter Rock Church Pastor and friend of the LaRocca family, Jerry O’Sullivan. 

Other board members in attendance included Secretary Angelina Stanco-Stone, Treasurer Thomas Bunger, and Online and Media Content Officer Lydia Wen Rodgers. The Foundation was also pleased to have many of the organization’s Liaison Members in attendance.

Stevenson-Mathews said “Gratitude is extended to the sponsors of the annual Award Ceremony, the sustaining members, and all who partner with us in our mission to serve veterans, active military members, and their families.”

For more information on the Tribute and Honor Foundation, including details on the Annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraising Gala, visit www.tributeandhonorfoundation.org.

Angelina Stanco-Stone is a representative for the Tribute and Honor Foundation.

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