FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Timothy Vino, of Fairfield, has been named to receive the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s 2013 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Fund Scholarship.
Vino, 17, a graduate of Fairfield Ludlow High School, will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., in the fall in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in unmanned aircraft systems science.
As a high school senior, Vino was a member of The First Tee varsity golf team, a non-profit fundraising team which hosts and plays in tournaments. For his continued improvement on the team, Vino has received the Perseverance Award from The First Tee. In association with the team, Vino also volunteers as a golf instructor.
Adding to his endeavors, Vino is active with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the oldest and largest Irish Catholic organization in the United States. As a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Vino serves as president of the Junior Division and has assisted in raising thousands of dollars to support local causes. He also is involved with the Fairfield Police Explorers, Yale-New Haven Hospital and volunteers as a youth soccer coach.
Helping the community has always been a part of Vino’s way of life. While in third grade, Vino and his younger sister wanted to participate in Walk MS in Fairfield to show support for their mother, Cara, who has been fighting multiple sclerosis since 1999. While Vino and his sister only raised $100, the feeling of knowing that they had accomplished something to help their mom was priceless.
“$100 was a lot of money to two elementary school kids, even though at the time it didn’t seem like it, it helped the cause,” shared Vino. “I can easily recall how good it felt to do our part.”
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Cara Vino, have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis generally affects women more than men and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with speech and vision and, in some severe cases, complete paralysis. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Vino was recognized by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, at its annual Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship Reception, which was held at the Country Club of Farmington, Thursday, June 6. He is one of 19 high school graduates receiving a 2013 scholarship.
Scholarships are made possible through the Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Fund, which specifically supports National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, family programs. The fund was established in July 2007 by the family to honor the memory of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who had MS, and her daughters Hayley and Michaela, who were active with the chapter helping raise funds to support scientific research for a cure.
Receiving the scholarship means a lot to Vino, because he knows that his dream of becoming an unmanned aircraft pilot requires extensive schooling, which can be expensive. This scholarship will help to fund these goals that Vino has set for himself.
Scholarship applications for the 2014 school year will be available online in October. For more information on MS or for additional information on 2014 MS scholarship criteria, please contact the Connecticut Chapter at 860-913-2550 or visit www.ctfightsMS.org.