Garofano fund becomes scholarship
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | April 17,2013
A city employee and his son, killed in Tropical Storm Irene, will be remembered through a scholarship fund.
The Board of Aldermen voted Monday to follow the request of the Garofano family that the fund created in the memory of Michael J. Garofano and Michael G. Garofano be used to grant scholarships to Rutland High School graduates studying engineering or environmental sciences.
The Garofano Family Memorial Scholarship Fund also honors the memory of Robert Garofano, another son of Michael J. Garofano, who died in 2010.
The surviving Garofanos described their desires to the board through a letter from attorney Frank Urso, who is a family friend and has spoken publicly for the Garofanos since the deaths in 2011. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The fund will award one-time scholarships of $2,000 to eligible graduates attending an institution of higher learning in Vermont. Applicants must submit a one-page essay describing involvement in academic clubs or sports, employment and nonschool activities, future educational plans and how the scholarship will meet their needs.
The family will choose from among the applicants and reserved the right to change the requirements
Michael J. Garofano was a city employee of 30 years, and oversaw the water system at the time of Tropical Storm Irene. As heavy rain started to fall, he left for the inlet house in Mendon to make sure certain valves were set properly to protect the city’s water supply.
Michael G. Garofano, an independent landscaper, went along with his father. Neither returned.
The fund was initially created to pay for a monument to the Garofanos, either at the inlet or elsewhere in the city’s water system, and other donations toward that goal have been offered to the city. Mayor Christopher Louras said those discussions are ongoing.
Robert Garofano was an engineer working at Casella Construction.
Applications are available at the Rutland High School guidance office, according to Wilton, and the first scholarship will be awarded this spring. The deadline for application is May 3.