September 4, 2007 – The FSU Seminole Club of NYC moved into action immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to honor the victims of the worst attack on the U.S in the nation's history. By September 17, 2001, the club was the first to establish a scholarship fund to pay tribute to victims of the attack. The fund will help send relatives to Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. With the help of major donors Chris and Andrea Diamantis, the fund was recently permanently endowed through the Florida State University Foundation. Chris is a FSU Booster Inner Council Board Member and Chairman and CEO of Millennium Settlements.
The club's president in 2001 and original proponent of the idea, Christopher Jaskiewicz, says: "We were living in Manhattan when the attack happened and we decided that a great way to honor victims would be to send a child or relative to FSU, which is a special place. I will never forget that when we put this idea together, bodies were being counted and smoke was in the air. Thanks to our club leaders, donors, and FSU Boosters, the idea is now a reality." Chris is also a FSU Booster Inner Council Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of New York real estate developer Gotham Organization, Inc.
"We are proud of what we have accomplished as an alumni club far from our alma mater. As New Yorkers, we are prouder still that we are able to help relatives of victims attend our beloved Florida State University," says current club president, Adrianne Mellen, the Director of Special Events for the March of Dimes - NY Division.
The FSU Seminole Boosters assisted with several fundraising events, including one in Manhattan where FSU Football Head Coach Bobby Bowden and former FSU quarterback and Heisman award winner Charlie Ward appeared. A major donation was also provided by David Ford, a FSU Board of Trustee Member and New York resident. The New York office of international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP donated hundreds of hours in time to assist the fund achieve 501(c)(3) designation so that contributions are tax deductible. The rest of the fund was donated by FSU alumni from around the country.
Chris Diamantis says: "When Chris Jaskiewicz asked me to contribute, my initial reaction was that this is a great idea that could even be made better by expanding potential recipients to relatives of first responders who did not die – medics, construction workers, and others who worked on the site in the days following the attack. As we have come to learn, these people are suffering. I am proud to contribute to the victims of 9/11 and to FSU for this cause and think the club should be applauded for coming up with the idea and having the wherewithal to get it endowed."
The fund will be administered by the Florida State University Foundation and scholarship recipients will be recognized as FSU-NYC September 11 Scholars. The next goal of the club is to raise an additional $75,000, which would entitle the fund to a $50,000 grant from the state of Florida. Tax deductible donations may be sent to the FSU Seminole Club of NYC, Inc. c/o Lovecky PO Box 284 Tarrytown, NY 10591, payable to FSU/NYC September 11 Scholarship Fund.
The FSU Seminole Club of NYC, Inc. is a not for profit, charitable organization that is part of a network of Seminole Clubs worldwide and is comprised of FSU Alumni, Boosters and friends in the New York metropolitan area.