Visitors’ Bureau Awards Scholarships

The Chautauqua County Visitors’ Bureau recently awarded Don Hogan Tourism Scholarships to five area high school seniors.

Each scholarship awarded was for $700, with money raised during 2012 at the annual Don Hogan Memorial Golf Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club’s Lake Course. Under the leadership of Don Anderson of Camp Chautauqua, Visitor’s Bureau board member and past president, the bureau has raised more than $3,500 annually for scholarship awards in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Thirty area college-bound seniors submitted essays with their ideas about how area tourism attractions can draw more visitors. The essayists listed a host of ideas, ranging from careful maintenance of area waterways to offering train excursions to placing geo-caches at area attractions. Students also identified the need to educate visitors about locations of recreation areas and to promote local food favorites.

Scholarships were awarded to Jennifer Merchant of Panama Central School, who will be attending Elmira College; Katelyn DeChard of Cassadaga Valley, who will be attending the State University at Fredonia; Jeffrey Rupp, a home school student in the Cherry Creek area who will attend Maranatha in Wisconsin; Kristin Grohol of Westfield Academy and Central School, who will attend Barnard College; and Mikaela Swanson of Maple Grove, who will attend Jamestown Community College.

The Chautauqua Golf Club will host the 17th annual CCVB/Hogan Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 14 to raise money for 2014. Since the inception of the scholarship program, 65 area students have received scholarships to help further their education and raise awareness of the importance of the local tourism industry.

The program is in honor of Donald J. Hogan, founding member and longtime director of the Chautauqua County Vacationland Association, predecessor of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau. The Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, a not-for-profit agency, is the official tourism promotion agency for Chautauqua County and New York state’s Chautauqua-Allegheny Region, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.