Valley Patriot Newspaper Raises More than $53K at Scholarship Drive


Every year, Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan holds an anniversary BASH to honor police officers, firefighters, veterans, and community activists, as well as to raise scholarship money for local high school seniors.

“When we walked out of the room last year we had raised and given out $33,000 in scholarship money and that was nearly double what we had raised the year before COVID,” Duggan said.

“I remember thinking, ‘how in the world are we are ever going to top this?’”

This year, Duggan and the Valley Patriot’s charity team not only topped last year’s all time total, but raised more than $53,445, distributing the funds to nine students hailing from Lawrence High School, Haverhill High School, North Andover High, The Greater Lawrence Tech, Whittier Tech, Salem, N.H., and Methuen High.

“Each scholarship has a certain criteria. So, what we do is reach out to people we know in each high school, maybe a principal, a school committee member, or an advisor, and ask them to recruit applicants for the scholarships. Once the student is vetted and accepted we post the student’s name and school and ask people on Facebook to donate to that specific scholarship.”

“So, for example, we have our Michelle DeLuca Benedetti Scholarship for a Haverhill student going into public safety. Once a student going into that field is chosen, I post his bio and photo on all of our social media pages, but also on all the Haverhill Alumni social media pages. Then we send out mailings to local businesses in Haverhill with that student’s photo and bio soliciting donations. We do this for each scholarship.”

“When someone makes a donation, I post a thank you on-line with the amount, and then add that amount to the previous total and post that as well, so that the donors and the recipients have full transparency and know that 100% of every penny we get goes directly to the kids.”

Duggan said that people make donations right up to the minute they hand the check to the student at the annual BASH, noting this year one student increased her amount by $1,035 as the giant check was being presented.

This year’s Scholarship Winners! ◊

Edmund Lo Veteran Surprise Scholarship Award


Haverhill High School and Whittier Tech
Scholarship winners Arturo Zuniga & Liam Robertson


Studio 21 Podcast Café Scholarship
Winner James Sugden of Methuen High School

Surprise Scholarship for Cheylynn Marmol

Gr. Lawrence Tech. Scholarship winner Arielle Cavarretta

Dan Coady Memorial Scholarship winner Cam Reiland

Eugene Smith, Lawrence High JrROTC Scholarship winner Jaraliz Morales 


** 2023 Valley Patriot 19th Anniversary BASH **
Award Winners

John Ratka Hero Veteran Award Winner
Haverhill Police Officer Kevin Lynch

Officer Tom Duggan Hero Police Officer Awards

* Methuen Officers James Keating and Kevin Schiavone

* Retired Lawrence Firefighter Michael Delaney Sr. 

Scott Clegg Goodwill Ambassador Award Winner

* Jill Stackelin and Sue Evans

Valley Patriot Lifetime Achievement Award

* Former Rep. Marcos Devers