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Thursday, December 1, 2022
FairfaxEducationNew scholarship fund honors memory of Women's Club stalwart

New scholarship fund honors memory of Women’s Club stalwart

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The Women’s Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund has formally announced the establishment of the Holly Ann Kuga Endowment at George Mason University.

Kuga was a long-standing member of the Women’s Club and a beloved friend and supporter of the Scholarship Fund who died in December 2020 as a result of a tragic car crash. The funds raised for Kuga’s endowment, which total just over $34,000, were a culmination of donations from friends and family in conjunction with the Scholarship Fund’s 2021 Spring Tea fund-raiser, held in her memory.

At a kickoff event at the university’s Fairfax campus were Katie Kuga, the daughter of Holly Ann Kuga; Mariama Swarray-Deen, the first Holly Ann Kuga scholarship recipient; Mary Bramley, director of donor relations and stewardship at Mason; and Scholarship Fund board members Sally Anne Andrew Pyne, Jayana Garvey and Christie Lavin.

“The Women’s Club of Great Falls Scholarship Fund recognizes extraordinary students and provides them with financial assistance to pursue degrees in higher education. Like many of these students, my mom had to support herself growing up especially as it related to education,” said Katie Kuga.

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“She was a person of extraordinary generosity, compassion, wit and intellect and someone that I personally turned to for everything,” Katie Kuga said. “She always thought about others and never put herself first, ever. She was my rock, my confidant, my mom and best friend and my love for her can never be replaced. I believe my mom truly embodies the foundation around this scholarship, and it is an honor to establish it in her name.”

Sally Anne Andrew Pyne and Christie Lavin, co-presidents of the scholarship fund, issued a joint statement saying “of all the hard work we have done over the years for our students, this moment is the pinnacle. To know that Holly’s legacy will last in perpetuity for the benefit of other hard-working women like herself is at the heart of our mission. We are so proud and delighted to stand here today with Katie and Mariama, and to see hope and new life represented by this endowment come to fruition.”

The Scholarship Fund was established in 1983 and awards stipends to deserving students who are residents of Northern Virginia. Recipients must demonstrate a financial need and be in good academic standing.

In addition to granting scholarships generated from endowments, individual scholarships are granted from money raised through annual fundraisers. Over the past five years alone, the fund has awarded a total of $54,400 in scholarship funds to 41 students.

For more on the initiative, and its planned April 23 fund-raiser, see the Website at https://www.womensclubgfsf.org/.

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