The Talbot Watermen Association was formed in 2010 to insure a place for commercial fishermen in the future. Threatened by the political forces who wanted to phase out our way of life, we fought for the first five years to be included in the decision making. Without any representation, Talbot County ended up losing 50% of our best productive oyster grounds to sanctuaries. This all changed in 2015 when a new governor, Larry Hogan, finally got watermen a seat at the table and we could share our knowledge, too. Together great strides have been made, not only for our future but for a better and healthier Chesapeake Bay.
In 2015 our members wanted to give back to our community because of their strong support. Scholarship programs were created for local high school students, one for Easton High School and one for St. Michaels High School. To celebrate our 10th year anniversary in 2019, one scholarship was designated for a student from a watermen's family. This scholarship became known as the Wendell Lednum Memorial Scholarship in honor of our first Vice President, Wendell Lednum, who was instrumental in forming our group. Wendell was a great leader who used his quick wit and sense of humor to get our members through difficult times.
Our scholarship program has grown this year. The Aaron Correa Memorial Scholarship was created in honor of one our members, Aaron Correa, who passed away suddenly this year. This scholarship is designated for a student dedicated to community service. Aaron was a member of both St. Michaels and Tilghman fire companies. He was taught from a young age that the most rewarding thing you do in life is helping others, and he embraced this.
Since 2015 we have given $24,500 in scholarships and $77,400 to local organizations and needy families. Due to the pandemic, our fundraising was down but three local businesses; Chesapeake Landing Restaurant, The Lumberyard, and Wittman Wharf Seafood stepped up and put out donation jars to fund our scholarships.
Our members would like to congratulate all graduating seniors in Talbot County and thank those who sent applications in to receive scholarships. All five of this year's recipients have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, service to the community and advocacy of the watermen way of life.
Easton High School Award Night, May 17th. Talbot Watermen Association Board Member, Nick Hargrove, presents The Wendel Lednum Memorial Scholarship to Spencer Rada and the Talbot Watermen Association Scholarship to Anissa Wallace.
Easton High School's Anissa Wallace is this year's recipient of the Talbot Watermen Association Scholarship. Anissa will graduate a year early so she can pursue her law degree and become a lawyer. She is inspired by her grandfather, William Wallace, a hardworking watermen who worked alongside his brothers and his father, one of two black men from Deal Island to own a skipjack.
Easton High School's Spencer Rada received the Wendell Lednum Memorial Scholarship. Spencer will pursue a career in politics at Norwich College. His ultimate goal is becoming President of the United States. Spencer is inspired by his grandfather, Captain Wade H. Murphy Jr of the skipjack Rebecca T. Ruark who would tell the stories of overcoming many hardships to make a living on the water and protect watermen rights.
St. Michaels High School Award Night, May 26th. Haley Sadler received the Talbot Watermen Association Scholarship, Macy Motovidlak received The Wendell Lednum Memorial Scholarship, Teegan Murphy received the Aaraon Correa Memorial Scholarship. Presented by Jason Correa, Pat Jones, and Robin Harrison.
St. Michaels High School's Haley Sadler is this year's recipient of the Talbot Watermen Association Scholarship. She will study Forensic Accounting at Virgina Wesleyan University while pitching for their #1 ranked softball team. She admires the dedication of the watermen in her family and her father, Ricky Sadler, a marine contractor. Her great-grandfather, Calvin Cummings, was the Knapps Narrows bridge tender for over 30 years.
St. Michaels High School's Macy Motovidlak is this year's recipient of the Wendell Lednum Memorial Scholarship. Macy has already completed her Associated Degree in Allied Heatlh Studies at Chesapeake College. She will be attending Goucher College to study medicine. Macy wants to be an emergency room physician and return to the Eastern Shore to help her community. She is inspired by the strong work ethic of the long line of watermen in her family, especially her father, Johnny Motovidlak, who is the hardest working person she knows.
Teegan Murphy is the first recipient of the Aaron Correa Memorial Scholarship. Teagan completed 338 service-learning hours and is also a member of Tilghman Volunteer Fire Company. He will attend Chesapeake College studying Fire Science and playing baseball then on to University of Maryland in Fire Prevention Engineering. Teegan is inspired by his waterman father, Johnny Murphy,who got him started working when he was 8 years old, and the Tilghman Volunteer Fire Company members who influenced him towards the fire career path.