Thanks to the record breaking success of last year’s fund raising home tour and strong community support the Punta Gorda Garden Club is delighted to award PGGC Higher Education Scholarships of $2,500 each to six students from our local area. Four of the winners are seniors in nearby high schools and two are currently enrolled in college programs. They were chosen from a diverse and highly qualified field of candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence, extra-curricular involvement and clearly defined goals for their future studies and career plans.

Molly Dillon, graduating from Charlotte High School, plans to attend Florida State University in the fall with a major in Environmental Sciences. She is looking forward to combining her interest in chemistry and the sciences with her love of nature and outdoor activities. Her excellent academic record and work as a volunteer gardener have contributed to make her a notable candidate for this award.

Madeleine Odenweller, a senior at Port Charlotte High School, will attend the University of Florida with a major in Environmental Engineering. As an award winning participant in the Model United Nations program she has researched and debated environmental topics such as water pollution and climate change shaping her desire to create solutions to environmental crises worldwide. Described as a stellar student, ambitious learner, leader, student mentor and volunteer, she stands out as a young woman of exceptional ability and commitment to her life goals.

Zoe Ortiz, graduating from Port Charlotte High, will attend the University of Miami where she plans to major in Environmental Science and Law. Through her experiences with the Model United Nations she has developed a awareness of global problems related to the environment and how they affect peoples’ lives. She hopes to become a lawyer in order to advocate for environmental policy changes which will help to preserve the planet and the safety of people everywhere.

Faith Price, also from Port Charlotte High School, plans to attend Valencia College where she will major in Environment Engineering building on her interest in science and her desire to address the challenges  of  recycling, waste disposal, water and air pollution as well as related public health issues. She has been recommended as a dedicated student who has demonstrated diligence, leadership, and responsibility in addition to volunteering extensively at school and in the community.

The Club is pleased to award continuing scholarships to two previous winners who have demonstrated merit in challenging fields of academic study.  Kasey Martin is a senior at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia where she is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Diversified Agriculture.  Austin Wise is currently a student at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Environmental Engineering.

Betsy Foster,  Publicity Chairperson Punta Gorda Garden Club



Applicants must be graduating seniors of Charlotte County high schools, current students at Florida South Western State College, or previous winners of a Garden Club scholarship. Home schooled students who meet the requirements are also eligible to apply. Those requirements include a B or better grade point average, proof of financial need, and a desire to major in agronomy, botany, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental engineering, floriculture, forestry, horticulture, landscape design, plant pathology or related fields.

The deadline for application submission is April 1, 2020.    

Due to the success of our fund raising home tour, the Punta Gorda Garden Club hopes to award six $2,500.00 scholarships this year.

For questions or concerns, please contact Terry Tunkavige  at

Other garden club organizations also offer scholarships to deserving students. Please check their websites for further details and application deadlines as they vary and some deadlines are as soon as February 1:

  • National Garden Clubs, Inc. awards $4,000.00 scholarships with a February 1, application deadline.
  • Deep South Garden Clubs awards 2 $5,000.00 scholarships with a February 1, application deadline.
  • Florida Federation of Garden Clubs (FFGC) awards 10 $3,000.00 scholarships with a May 1, application deadline.

Terry Tunkavige
Punta Gorda Garden Club
Punta Scholarship Chair
3618 Aruba Ct.Punta Gorda, FL. 33950-8120

If you prefer to download an application, print and mail it click here:

Punta Gorda Garden Club Scholarship Application