Scholarship to memorialize Ozzie the duck

WESTFIELD – Ozzie the duck may be gone but his memory will be preserved, in at least one Westfield student’s memory, when the Citizens Scholarship Fund of Westfield awards at least one scholarship donated in memory of the duck.
Ozzie was a Muscovy duck (which is native to tropical areas in Central and South America) which had made its home at the Stanley Park for about three years, after it was found in a parking lot at the park. It had been adopted by park staff and visitors and named Ozzie.
Ozzie was killed in a brutal attack Nov. 11 near the duck ponds at the park. A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for the crime.
Cynthia M. Neary, the president of CSF in Westfield, said that an anonymous donor has offered to contribute $500 for a scholarship in memory of Ozzie.
Neary called the contribution “unique” and said “This will be the first (CSF) scholarship in memory of an animal.”
The donor said, Neary reports, that she feels that Ozzie symbolized the park which she said has always represented peace and tranquility to her. Neary said “She was so outraged by the incident she felt that something good needed to result from this cruel action.”
Like all CSF scholarships, the memorial scholarship will be awarded to a Westfield student and Neary said, “The donor feels obviously this scholarship should be directed to a person with humanitarian or volunteer experience or is pursing a degree in a humanitarian field.”
Bob McKean, the managing director of Stanley Park, welcomed the scholarship and said “It may help other people realize what was done.”
He said the scholarship “makes something positive from the incident” and speculated that it may influence a high school student to enter the veterinary or other related field.
Neary said that a $500 scholarship is the minimum award given by the CSF and said that the anonymous donor is willing to donate that amount.
The public is invited to make contributions to add to the donor’s gift and the final award will be dependent on the total donations received.
“Anyone can send a donation in any amount” Neary said and explained that the amount received and the need of the recipient will determine how the money is disbursed.
Neary said that a total fund of at least $10,000 is needed to create a permanent scholarship in Ozzie’s memory and if a lesser amount is contributed the money will be awarded as one-time grant to one or more recipients.
Contributions for the scholarship in Ozzie’s memory may be mailed to the CSF at P.O. Box 382, Westfield, 01086, with a notation indicating that the donation is intended for that scholarship.
The CSF has been making grants to city students for 49 years and has awarded more than one and a half million dollars to more than 5,000 Westfield students in that time.
The CSF is a volunteer organization and Neary said “We rely completely on community support.”
Some of those volunteers will be on hand at the Westfield Walmart store today from 3-6 p.m. to solicit contributions to the CSF’s general fund.

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