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On July 22, the Carolina Beach Downtown Initiative donated $1000 to Cape Fear Community College for the Michael McGowan Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Michael McGowan was a well-loved chef in the area who recently lost his battle with Cystic Fibrosis.

Members of CBDI presented the check to Michael’s wife, Shelly McGowan, at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.

CBDI Co-Leader Dan Wilcox said that the donation was a nice way to honor McGowan. “We wanted to honor Michael’s memory by giving local students a chance to pursue their culinary careers, with the hopes that someday those students will give back to the area just as Michael and Shelly have done,” he said.

“Michael and Shelly were always there when the community needed them,” said CBDI Co-Leader Brett Keeler. “Michael was passionate about cooking, so we felt that supporting scholarships for Cape Fear Community College’s culinary students was a wonderful way give back and to honor him.”

The CBDI donation brings fundraisers closer to their $20,000 goal.  Several community groups and businesses from the Carolina Beach area have made donations for the scholarship.  Most recently, a fundraising oyster roast was held at Surf House in Carolina Beach.

The Michael McGowan scholarship fund was established by Michael’s wife, Shelly, and his friends, Mac and Carol Montgomery.  “Mac and I had been away when he passed and we were looking for a way to turn our grief into something positive. We went to see Shelly to present our idea only to hear her say that she had thought the very same thing that morning,” said Carol Montgomery.  “I had been on the CFCC Foundation board where I became acquainted with the Foundation’s mission to provide financial aid and hope to students who needed both. A scholarship was my first thought of how to remember Michael in a way that reflected his own life. Before his death, Michael was known to be a generous, warm, and giving man who believed in supporting the hard work and dreams of other people.  My hope for this scholarship is that one day one it’s recipients will open a restaurant and we will all go in for good food and fellowship.”

The Carolina Beach Downtown Initiative was formed in 2007 by a group of island citizens, boardwalk property owners, business owners, and town representatives to make the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and Central Business District a more attractive and inviting destination for visitors and residents.

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