Applications for summer recreation scholarships, valued at $300 each, are now available from the OC Club – a free membership program for Orange County youth, ages 5-19, that rewards kids for making positive afterschool choices when they participate in activities run by the OC Club’s Recreation Partners. Orange County Mayor Richard T. Crotty and the Board of County Commissioners offer these summer program scholarships annually to qualifying low- and moderate-income Orange County youth.
Youth must meet all three of the following criteria to apply: (1) live in Orange County; (2) be age 5 to 19; and (3) have parents/guardians receiving qualifying public assistance, which must be documented and included with the scholarship application. Youth do not have to be members of the OC Club.
Applications are available on the OC Club’s web site, www.theOCclub.net; from participating Recreation Scholarship Partner locations; and at the OC Clubhouse, located within Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando. Completed applications with support documents must be postmarked by Friday, February 26th or delivered in person to the OC Clubhouse by 5pm on February 26th.
Due to high demand, scholarships will be awarded through a lottery system in early March and must be used for programs that end by August 28th, 2010. The scholarships can be redeemed only at OC Club Recreation Scholarship Partner locations in Orange County. Each scholarship recipient must stay active in their selected summer recreation program to stay in good standing.
“Last year, 1,500 families applied for these scholarships,” says OC Club program manager Brent Moore. “We expect even more to be submitted this year due to the struggling economy.”
To join the OC Club, students have to participate in and sign up through one of the OC Club’s many Recreation Partner programs, such as a club or sport at most Orange County Public Schools, or a program at a Boys & Girls Club, the City of Orlando Recreation Division or another municipality, or many others. As Mayor Crotty’s youth initiative, the OC Club provides members with a free ticket to an event each month, along with discounted tickets for their family.
“All Orange County youth who participate in afterschool activities are eligible for this free program,” said Moore. “Nearly 8,000 youth are currently enrolled, and we’re adding more every day.”
OC Club members must show their red Club card in order to pick up tickets (a limited supply, which are on a first-come, first-serve basis) and to ride Lynx for free (Monday through Friday, 1pm-8pm only); upcoming ticket distributions include the Central Florida Fair in February and Movie Mania at the West Oaks AMC 14 in March. Members also receive special discounts to more than 100 area businesses, listed under Business Partners on the OC Club web site.
For more information about the OC Club, membership and events, call the OC Club InfoLine at 407.836.9790 or visit www.theOCclub.net.