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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Foundation Receives $100,000 Endowed Scholarship Fund from Wolanin Family During Fundraiser Event

FORT MYERS, FL - During the President's Celebration fundraiser on Saturday, March 27, Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson G. Bradshaw announced the establishment of a $100,000 endowed scholarship fund named "Rockin' Christmas Endowed Scholarship Fund Founded by PrivateSky® Aviation Services, Inc., the Vincent and Illona Wolanin Family, and the Dr. John and Liz Kagan Family.

This generous scholarship gift will assist students who have lost parents due to illness or sudden death and have displayed a propensity toward academic excellence and exhibited dedication, sportsmanship, discipline and strong work ethic during the students' formative academic years. Preference will be given to graduates from Lee County who are enrolled in the Resort and Hospitality degree program or in one of the science or engineering degree programs at FGCU. The FGCU Foundation will apply to the State of Florida to match the amount with the addition of 50 percent, increasing the donation to $150,000.

President Bradshaw stated, "I am so pleased on behalf of our students to accept this generous gift from the Wolanin and Kagan families. Scholarships for deserving students are the heart of our donor programs, and this gift will support FGCU students in perpetuity."

Fund founder Vincent M. Wolanin was instrumental in creating the initial endowment contribution, but gives credit to his daughter, singer-songwriter-recording artist Whitney Wolanin, with raising a major amount of the funds with her Rockin' Christmas performances over six years with her All Star band. Whitney will be performing at the Beach Boys Show April 2 at Barbara B. Mann. For more information about Whitney's musical career, visit Whitney also is the celebrity spokesperson for Youth Crime Watch of America.

"Our entire organization is committed to helping young people. We hope this gift inspires others to give as well," stated Wolanin, who is chairman and founder of PrivateSky® Aviation Services, Inc., an affiliate of Wolanin Companies Ltd.

Each year for six years, Wolanin and his wife Illona and their daughters Victoria and Whitney, together with Dr. John Kagan and Liz Kagan, host a fundraiser at the PrivateSky® Aviation executive terminal complex at SW Florida International Airport to benefit the youth organizations.

In 2000, Wolanin purchased the JetSouth facility at Southwest Florida's International Airport and merged it with his own new company PrivateSky® Aviation Services, Inc. Wolanin is also a Producer-Grammy Voting Member of TopNotch®
Entertainment Corp., which manages major rock stars and is involved in entertainment asset ownership and commercial exploitation thereof.

For further information, media representatives should contact Senior Director of Advancement Judie Cassidy at (239) 590-1058.

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