Scholarship Award Celebration

For a second year in a row, Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) held its annual Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship Award Celebration virtually to honor six PAL youth with personal recognition and individual scholarship awards totaling $30,000 on Thursday, June 3.

The program featured the scholarship recipients, their families and the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarship donors. PAL also arranged to have dinner delivered to each award recipients’ home for the winners and their families to celebrate the evening.

Now in its 19th year, more than 116 scholarships totaling more than $310,000 have been awarded to PAL youth. This year’s Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program recipients all come from Santa Monica High School and include:

– Melisa Ramirez Hernandez, Senior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

– Diana Lopez Meyer, Senior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

– Kim Hansen, Junior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

– Kaliyah Harrington, Junior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

– Karen Morales, Senior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

– Audrialice Evans, Senior, received a scholarship for $5,000.

Each scholarship recipient or representative participated in the live virtual ceremony and revealed their scholarship award amounts by opening a scroll that was followed by brief remarks on receiving their scholarship award and future academic plans.

Through a joint gift from Ed Simmons and Standard Parking and from Neil and Karen Carrey, an endowment fund has been established for the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund. Each year this fund provides scholarships between $1000-$5,000 for post-high school education expenses to a PAL member who meets required criteria, shows financial need, successfully completes an application package, and is selected by the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund Committee. The scholarship recipients are presented annually at the PAL Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

The Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship program was hosted by Jivanto P. van Hemert, PAL Alumnus; and the presenters included Patty Loggins and on behalf of Mary Ann Powell; Tim Cunniff and Monica Briseno; Laurel Rosen, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Neil Carrey, Board Member of PAL and Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, President of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica and Fund Co-Founder; Kathy Irby, Vice President of Finance, and PAL Board of Directors, and Ed Simmons, Fund Co-Founder; Helen Albright, PAL Board Member and on behalf of the Jack Walter Family Foundation; and Santa Monica Police Department Lieutenant Rudy Flores.

“I’m grateful to all involved in creating, hosting and providing funds for our second virtual Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program. The student recipients have worked hard on their academic achievements and are extremely deserving of the assistance,” says Eula Fritz, Director at Santa Monica Police Activities League. “The PAL community comes together each year to honor the best and the brightest of our youth and helps to guide them on a path of future successes.”

The PAL Scholarship awards are in memoriam to Chris Carrey, who lived in Santa Monica for all 16½ years of his life. He was an excellent student, having attended school in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Chris was very active in youth sports and especially excelled in tennis. He also played the bass guitar. However, most of all Chris wanted to become a chef. Chris performed his community service at PAL. He would have been proud of the PAL kids going on for additional education after high school. He would have also been proud that scholarships to help PAL kids with education are being awarded in his name.

For more information, call 310-458-8988 or visit smpal.org.

Submitted by Cameron Andrews, Pier Communications