Teddy Marousis Scholarship Organizer Hopes to Give More Away This Time Around

Mar 27, 2019
Photo by: Supplied photo Teddy Marousis’ legacy of kindness and selflessness led to the development of a scholarship in his name, and organizer Todd Kaiser hopes enough funds are raised this year to give out several of them.

After Teddy Marousis suddenly passed away nearly 17 months ago, Todd Kaiser knew there had to be some way to keep the 14-year-old’s legacy of brightness and congeniality alive within the Pinelands Regional School District.

“I was helping out in that classroom that day, and Teddy passing away was devastating to so many people,” said Kaiser, a former Southern Regional football and basketball player now part of the special education department at Pinelands. “Not one day went by when Teddy didn’t give somebody a high-five and ask how they were doing. He was a kid who enjoyed life and was always smiling.”

With Teddy’s kindness and selflessness in mind, Kaiser soon organized a fundraiser geared toward spearheading the effort in developing what became the Teddy Marousis Memorial Athletic Scholarship.

“Teddy was competitive in our Challenger League sports program and in the classroom,” Kaiser said. “But he was always such a nice kid who helped anybody however he could, and that’s the basis for this scholarship.”

After the initial fundraising effort produced enough to give away a $500 scholarship to multi-sport athlete and Challenger volunteer Madison Hawkins at last June’s Scholarship Night, Kaiser is hopeful this year’s fundraising effort does well enough to provide several scholarships.

Last year, Kaiser and a scholarship committee of three others carefully sifted through 25 applicants who completed the five-item scholarship questionnaire. The finalists were whittled down to three girls and a boy, and three of the four committee members selected Hawkins for the award.

“Madison put a lot of effort into answering all the questions,” he said. “For each question, she wrote a page-long answer, and every teacher and coach we talked to about her said she was a great person and student. Nobody had anything bad to say about her.”

The next fundraiser for the Teddy Marousis Memorial Athletic Scholarship is slated for Sunday, April 7, at Calloways Restaurant & Bar on Route 9. The event runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., and tickets at the door are $25 per person. Pizza, wings, pasta and beverages are included in the admission price, and entertainment by The Pickles is slated from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Last year, we gave out one scholarship, and hopefully this year we can give out two or three,” Kaiser said. “The goal right now is to raise a lot of money, but the ultimate goal is to keep Teddy’s memory alive. The family is fantastic and they deserve for his legacy to live on in the community. And with this scholarship, it’s a way to keep his legacy going and reward student-athletes who are great all-around kids who find time to work hard and help others.”  —D.B.

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