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Forni honored as Patriot Scholar

Date: 8/30/2010

Aug. 30, 2010

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW -- Michelle Forni was recently selected as the Military Friends Foundation's Patriot Scholar and was presented with a $1,000 scholarship and $500 book voucher on Aug. 25.

The Military Friends Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to eligible families of those serving in the National Guard and Reserve Units.

"There's a sense of pride in being recognized for my academic, extra curricular, and community service accomplishments, but being selected by the Military Friends Foundation's Scholarship Committee as a Patriot Scholar is truly an honor," Forni said.

Forni, a college sophomore who achieved a 4.0 grade point average her freshman year at Adelphi University in Long Island, N.Y., is the daughter of Master Sgt. Daniel Torres.

Forni is a 2009 graduate of East Longmeadow High School, who earned the East of the River Chamber 5 Town Chamber of Commerce Scholarship and the East Longmeadow Scholarship Foundation Moffat Scholarship during her senior year.

At Adelphi, as well as studying to be a child psychologist, Forni is a member of the college's dance team, performing at basketball, soccer and lacrosse games as well as homecoming events and pep rallies.

Torres is back stateside after a tour in Afghanistan with the 455 Air Expedition Wing out of Barnes Air Reserve Base in Westfield. He has completed two tours of duty in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, according to Col. Edward Gunning of the 104th Fighter Wing.

State Sen. Gale Candaras, who was instrumental in the formation of the Massachusetts Military Relief Fund, from which the Military Friends Foundation gets its funding, said it was a pleasure to see the hard work so many put into making the funding possible at work in the community.

"When you work on a piece of legislation, you never have a way of knowing what's going to happen in the real world until you come to a ceremony like this," Candaras said.

Forni also received a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives from a representative from Rep. Brian Ashe's office and a letter of congratulations from the Board of Selectmen, presented by Selectman James Driscoll.

Gunning also presented her with the 104th Fighter Wing Commander's Coin.

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