New Records set! 107 HPOU Scholarship recipients of $50,250

Tom Kennedy

The Houston Police Officers Union has adopted a habit of always breaking records in its most positive categories.

One of the proudest and most obvious record-breaking habits happens every early spring when the HPOU awards a record number of scholarships to a record number of sons and daughters of Union members who are about to undertake their first year of college.

The scholarship breakfast held April 7 in the Breckenridge Porter building saw 107 recipients be presented with a total of $50,250 in freshman year help.

In the decades-long history of this great program, the Union board of directors has always seen to it that more and more dollars are invested in this great resource.

HPOU President Joe Gamaldi beamed at the thought of a “new record” and spoke high praise for Education Committee Chairwoman Rhonda Williams and the dedicated work of her committee. At one point in the program Gamaldi presented Sgt. Williams with a bouquet of flowers as a special tribute to her and her committee’s hard work.

Part of that work resulted in scholarship breakfast sponsorships for the first time in the history of the program. Sgt. Williams found sponsors to pay for the food served at the event as well as for the trophies presented to each scholarship recipient – also for the first time in program history.

The lead sponsors were Galls Uniforms – Houston and the Corporate Office of Blauer. Other gracious sponsors were the Corporate Office of Kroger along with Chick-Fil-A – Sawyer Heights, Jason’s Deli (Corporate Office), Edward Jones (Pat P. Patterson), Houston This is It Soul Food and Post Oak Trophies.

Both Gamaldi and Sgt. Williams were effusive in their praise of these sponsors, who helped defray the cost of the breakfast and the trophies.

Williams also had special words of praise for HPOU’s Lisa Marino, saying, “I want to add a special thank you to Lisa Marino for all her hard work and dedication to her job. She is a precious jewel and worthy to be acknowledged. She helped me from the beginning to end. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

The format of the scholarship entries remained the same as always. High school seniors who are the sons or daughters of HPOU members are eligible to apply.

Eligible students were required to provide a transcript and write a three- or four-page essay promptly enough to meet the Feb. 23 deadline.

This year’s topic was: With the legislation passed in California, Maine, Nevada, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington, should Texas consider legalizing marijuana? Please choose a position for or against and explain your position.