Paving the Way

In the weeks following the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, the words and actions of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas resonated from coast to coast, prompting a nationwide discussion and, at the state level, legislative change to Florida’s gun laws.

But it’s the future of students at Stoneman Douglas that prompted action by a Boca Raton couple.

Ann and John Wood have partnered with the George Snow Scholarship Fund to set up the FairfaxWood Scholarship Foundation. The couple has donated money to provide 10 scholarships to Stoneman Douglas seniors who want to go to college but don’t have the GPA to earn academic scholarships. (Only students in the 2.5 to 3.5 GPA range will be considered.)

“When [the events in Parkland happened], I said, ‘OK let’s do something now,’” Ann says.

They did. The Woods’ goal is to bring hope and opportunity to students in the aftermath of an episode that will stay with them forever. It’s also a chance for Ann and John to honor the spirit of their late son, Bruce.

The Woods—John is a U.S. Navy veteran; Ann, a British native raised in Trinidad with experience in the medical field—took a leap of faith in 1965 and started their own construction company after John completed his engineering degree. The company, Pres-T-Con Ltd., operated in Trinidad, where they built bridges, piers and cruise ship terminals. (The Woods have lived in South Florida for 35 years; John commuted to Trinidad for business until they sold the company in 2005.)

After graduating from Princeton, their son took over the company’s bridge and marine construction. Tragedy struck in 2002 when Bruce, only 44, died in a construction accident. John says his son was known for his warmth and philanthropic nature, which he always downplayed.

“Nobody in the family ever knew what he was doing [as he was doing it], because he never broadcasted anything,” John recalls. Bruce’s charity work in Trinidad included building a school for illiterate children and fixing the roof of a church in a local village.

Since then, Ann and John have taken on charitable projects that pay tribute to their son’s memory. Providing opportunities for high school seniors isn’t new territory for the Woods, who, like their son, have been low-key about their benevolence. They have funded scholarships for the past 10 years. What’s different this time is that they hope spreading the word will inspire others to fund full or partial scholarships, allowing more Stoneman Douglas seniors to realize their college aspirations.

The application deadline for the FairfaxWood Scholarship closed in early April. Students who receive a scholarship will be awarded $5,000 for four years to cover tuition and fees. Recipients will be awarded at the George Snow Scholarship Fund’s annual ceremony, May 31.

About the Snow Fund

George Snow was a Boca Raton developer and former math teacher who lost his life in a helicopter accident in 1980. In 1982, the scholarship fund was established as a memorial to his life and the value he placed on education. Since its start, the fund—run by George’s son, Tim—has raised $9.2 million in educational grants for students in Palm Beach County.

You May Also Like

Renowned Broward County Philanthropist, Susie Levan, Dies at 73

The wife of Alan Levan, Chairman of BBX Capital, Inc., left an indelible mark on the community.

He Nose Best

Dr. Lee Mandel provides insight on the leaps and investments needed to make a mark in the medical space.

South Florida’s Food Scene Flourishes Thanks to Mike Linder’s Unique Approach

His emphasis on food quality, exceptional service, and innovative location choices is paying off.

How IDDI’s ‘Brandstorming’ Marries Design and the Bottom Line

It’s all about design with a purpose for Sherif Ayad and ID & Design International.

Other Posts

Student From American Heritage Schools Organizes Educational Drunk Driving Assembly 

The event served as a warning before prom and graduation.

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa Celebrates Five Years of Tidal Cove Waterpark

The June 1 event will feature all-day festivities and giveaways at the premier water park.

Tidal Cove Waterpark
Guy Harvey Foundation Presents the Second Annual International Ocean Film Festival

The organization partners with local and international organizations to conduct scientific research and organize educational programs.

Beach Club Memberships Elevate Your Beach Day

The resort in Sunny Isles Beach offers various perks for the ultimate staycation in South Florida.