Wright’s Farm Restaurant awards two $5,000 scholarships

From left to right are scholarship recipient Cassondra Fleming; Joan Surprenant, daughter of George Ducharme; and recipient Jolie Forrest.

BURRILLVILLE – A local restaurant awarding funds to local students as they enter their first year of college in honor of a former Burrillville educator doubled its scholarship program in 2022, giving $5,000 scholarships to two Bronco seniors.

Wright’s Farm Restaurant has announced that the winners of its annual George P. Ducharme Scholarship Program are Burrillville High School graduates Cassondra Fleming and Jolie Forrest.

Fleming will pursue a doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island and Forest will attend the University of Connecticut to pursue a degree in elementary education.

According to a release on the awards from the restaurant, located at 84 Inman Road, the scholarship program was doubled this year in honor of the business’s 50th anniversary.

Several students from Burrillville High School reportedly applied for the scholarship this year, which honors local resident George Ducharme, a 1948 graduate of Burrillville High School and awarded athlete, who went on to become the high school’s vice principal and principal from 1966-1985. Ducharme is a military veteran, and the restaurant noted he has been a mentor and valued member of the community for the past 70 plus years. 

“As part of this community for the past 50 years, we understand the importance of giving back,” said Wright’s Farm owner Frank Galleshaw. “Mr. Ducharme was my teacher, coach and principal when I was in school and the lessons he taught me in and out of the classroom were invaluable.”

Galleshaw and wife purchased the Wright’s Farm Restaurant in 1972 and grew it to the Rhode Island landmark it is today, serving family-style chicken with seating for up to 1,200 in six dining rooms and banquet facilities.

The scholarship is open to students attending a U.S.-based four-year college or university. To be eligible to apply, students must be a Burrillville town resident, member of the Burrillville High School graduating class that year, and have received official acceptance to a matriculating accredited four-year college or university. The selection criteria is based on demonstrated achievement and need; academic and personal recommendations; academic and personal achievements; school and community involvement; and additional factors as determined by the George P. Ducharme Scholarship Committee.   

Entries are available by visiting the website at: http://www.wrightsfarm.com/about/scholarship/. Entries for the 2023 scholarship will begin in February. 

“We are so pleased to award two scholarships this year and wish Cassondra and Jolie all the best as they embark on their college experience,” said Galleshaw. 

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