The Peace River Engineering Society (PRES) is holding its annual golf tournament fundraiser on Oct. 27, at Pelican Pointe Golf and Country Club in Venice. The annual event helps fund scholarships for area high school students.

“This year, we are partnering the Florida Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for a joint event,” said PRES President Steven Burnam. “All proceeds benefit the PRES and APWA Scholarship Funds for students pursuing a career in public works and/or a degree in engineering. Since 1992, we have raised over $140,000 to aid high school students with scholarships for engineering school.”

Burnam shared a letter the PRES received from scholarship recipient, Port Charlotte High School graduate, Tori Hoff, which he said “defines how important these scholarship funds are to students.” Following are excerpts from Tori’s letter:

“I’d love to share with you how your contributions have helped me these past three years,” Tori wrote. “I have been able to study abroad in Sydney, Australia, and Leeds, U.K., for two semesters, hold an internship with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics as an engineer and another position with the U.S. Department of Energy NNSS (Nevada National Security Site) company working as a mathematics nuclear researcher.

“Without the generosity of individuals like you, I would not have been able to afford room and board, textbooks, and the surprise costs associated with university studies. From your generosity, I have been able to grow as a leader while diversifying my experiences and resume.

“As I start my final semester at ERAU (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), I will be graduating at 20 years old and from there starting my graduate school endeavors. This scholarship will help me to cover the last of my housing and graduation fees, and I will be saving the rest for graduate school costs. I could not be more thankful for how my undergraduate career has gone and I can only hope that I will find the same great opportunities and generous individuals for graduate school.

“I hope you do understand how much of an impact this sort of financial help can do for students in my situation. I would not be where I am, with the resume I have acquired, and the GPA I’ve held, if I were to have to hold a fulltime job alongside my degree in Computational Mathematics. I would not have been able to travel across the U.S. for internships where I’ve gained real world experience in the work force and have acquired a better understanding for how I want to make an impact on this world.

“As a woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), I hope to use all I’ve learned to give back one day in the form of an administrative role in education where I can support others to work hard for opportunities out there like this one.”

Burnam is seeking players and sponsors for the tournament. You can play as part of a team or sponsor a hole, team or prize. For more information, contact Burnam at 941 380-1190 or, or contact Robin Palmer at

“We’re inviting everyone to participate in this important event,” Burnam said.


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