A holiday gift card drive for a private scholarship was held on Thursday, November 10 in memory of Bay Ridge civic leader Larry Morrish.
The event was hosted by Dyker Heights resident and longtime friend of Morrish, Penney Santo, and held at Indigo Murphy’s, 7201 Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Attendees were able to purchase a raffle or donate a gift card to fund the Larry Morrish Scholarship Award, which will go to teenagers living at the military base.
This year’s recipient was Samantha D’Annunzio.
D’Annunzio is in the graduating class of 2017 at Fort Hamilton High School, from which Morrish graduated. She is living at the Fort Hamilton Army Base with her father; her mother is currently deployed to Kuwait.
“Her dad is doing a great job taking care of her and doing everything he has to do,” Santo said. “He runs the bowling alley on base. He’s an amazing dad.”
According to Santo, the event was a great success.
“An event can never be one person or one community. It’s only ‘together we can make a difference’,” she said, noting that over $2,000 in gift cards were donated.
This is the fourth year Santo and her team got together to raise funds for the private scholarship, now named after Morrish.
“But it is the first year without Larry,” she said.
Morrish died earlier this year at the age of 71.
His wife, Phillipa, helped out with this year’s event, which was held earlier than usual this year in recognition of Veterans Day.
Bryan Dilberian, an Afghanistan veteran, received the inaugural Larry Morrish Man of the Year Award and Nicholas Colosi, a Korean War veteran, took home the first Larry Morrish Unsung Hero Award.
“He loved helping the military all the time and we wanted to keep the legacy going on for him,” Santo said. “Larry was an amazing man.”