200 Club of Monmouth County awards $100,500 in 2023 college scholarships

The 200 Club of Monmouth County distributed more than $100,000 in college scholarships to the children of first responders at the Jersey Shore, according to a recent announcement.

Fifty-eight students from 50 first responder families in Monmouth County were the recipients of funds during a ceremony earlier this month at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como.

Scholarships are funded by the dues 200 Club members pay and are distributed to express the gratitude of Monmouth County residents for the sacrifices first responders make to keep their communities safe.

“To date, the 200 Club of Monmouth County has given out approximately $3.1 million in college scholarships … which is an incredible way to thank first responders and their families,” Benjamin Lucarelli, president of the 200 Club of Monmouth County, said.

About the 200 Club

The 200 Club of Monmouth County’s main mission is to provide financial assistance to families of first responders who die or are seriously injured in the line of duty.

Founded by Monmouth County philanthropists in the 1970s, when each pledged an annual donation of $200, the organization is governed by officers who serve a two-year term, and a board of trustees. It is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with about 1,000 members.

“The Monmouth County 200 Club is the first responder to the families of our first responders. Our annual college scholarships funded by our members are a financial ‘gateway’ for helping many Monmouth County first responders to pay for their children’s higher education. It’s a tangible way for our members, who are citizens of Monmouth County, to express their gratitude to the dedicated professionals and volunteers who enforce our laws, fight our fires, and save our lives day and night, every single day,” Josh Elkes, scholarship chair, the 200 Club of Monmouth County, said.

Special recognition was given to Evan Catron, who received the 200 Club’s special $2,500 Ben Danskin Scholarship. The Ben Danskin Scholarship is in memory of Ben Danskin, a founding father of the 200 Club of Monmouth County.

“I am very grateful to receive the Ben Danskin scholarship. As I enter my senior year at Rowan University, this scholarship helps lift some of the financial burden of student loans and helps me focus on my studies and career goals. Thank you to the 200 Club of Monmouth County,” said Catron, the son of Freehold Township Detective John Catron and a biological sciences major.

Among this year’s additional scholarship recipients are 21-year-old Mia Kepter, a senior finance major at Kutztown University, and her sister, 18-year-old Micayla Kepter, a rising freshman and psychology major at Kean University.

“It gives us money for books and rent, and it helps us get through the school year. It really helps. Plus, it means a whole lot that they honor police officers like our father, a retired Neptune City patrolman,” Mia Kepter said.

Scholarship awards are only given to qualified students. Recipients must be the dependent child of a full-time, employed first responder who resides and works in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Recipients must also be full-time undergraduate students at an accredited institution of higher learning. At least one parent must also be an active member of the 200 Club of Monmouth County.