Spotlight on The Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fundraisers

Spotlight on The Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fundraisers

If you’ve been following my articles over the past few months, you’re familiar with The Chamber Foundation’s robust leadership programming, including Youth Leadership, Leadership Dutchess, and Executive Leadership. In addition to these programs, a significant part of The Chamber Foundation’s community development activity involves fundraising for various scholarships for local students. This article focuses specifically on the Norman and Rita Nussbickel Scholarship, the Cosimo DiBrizzi Memorial Scholarship, and the Athena Adult Scholarship. 

The annual Day of Golf benefits the Norman and Rita Nussbickel Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was established in 1987 by the Nussbickel family and the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Foundation in memory of Norman F. Nussbickel. The scholarship also honors Norman’s wife, Rita, who passed away in 2006. This scholarship is for graduating seniors from Arlington, Beacon, John Jay, or Roy C. Ketcham High Schools who have demonstrated strong academic, athletic, and community service in high school. This year’s Day of Golf takes place Tuesday, June 21 at the Links at Union Vale. This fundraiser involves not only golf, but also contests, raffles and delicious food and drinks throughout the day. 

Secondly, the Cosimo DiBrizzi Celebrity Servers Dinner raises money for the Cosimo DiBrizzi Memorial Scholarship. Established by the family of Cosimo DiBrizzi and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce to honor his memory, this scholarship is available to any resident of the Mid-Hudson Valley who is pursuing a career at the Culinary Institute of America. The fundraising event for this scholarship offers a unique fundraising concept: local Hudson Valley business leaders trade in their suits and ties for an apron and wait on their employees to help raise funds for the Cosimo DiBrizzi Memorial Scholarship. Tips are tallied and prizes are awarded to top earners at the end of the night. At the most recent Celebrity Servers dinner this past April, thousands of dollars were raised for the Cosimo DiBrizzi scholarship fund. 

Lastly, each December the ATHENA Leadership Award Ceremony raises money for the ATHENA Adult Scholarship. The ATHENA Adult Scholarship was established by The Chamber and The Chamber Foundation to encourage increased career opportunities for women in our community. This scholarship is available to any female Dutchess County resident, who works or volunteers in Dutchess County, has graduated high school or its equivalent, or graduated college, and been out of school for at least five years, and is pursuing education at an accredited New York State college, university or trade school or through an accredited online educational program. Likewise, the ATHENA Award is given to a member of the community who best embodies the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Model is unique in that it focuses on the personal traits of strong, successful leaders. 

In addition to these scholarship-specific fundraisers, the following two events raise money for The Chamber Foundation’s general scholarship fund: the Hudson Valley Young Professionals host the Strikes for Scholars Bowling Tournament, involving food, prizes, and fun for all ages plus a trophy ceremony for top-scoring teams. Likewise, the Pigskins and Pints event involves an afternoon of football, food, beer, and fun. It also serves as a Leadership Dutchess reunion event, celebrating both past and present classes. 

We rely on various committee members, volunteers, and donors to help make these fundraisers and scholarships possible. If you’d like to get involved with our scholarship fundraising activities, please reach out to me at or (845) 454-1700 ext. 1025. 

To learn more about The Chamber Foundation’s various scholarship offerings, visit