By Madeline Zuckerman

The renowned Springs Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, hosted its 12th Annual Scholarship Awards Reception recently, awarding valuable scholarships to six outstanding youth from The Springs Country Club community.

Guests were treated to an exquisite dining experience by Springs Executive Chef Kathleen Sharkey, featuring appetizers of Candied Bacon, Crostini with Goat Cheese and Figs, and Ahi Poke Nachos. These were followed by a Wedge Salad and entrée selections of Filet Mignon with Demi Glaze, Grilled Asparagus and Boursin Mashed Potatoes; Salmon Miso Marmalade served with Fasmine Rice Pilaf and Grilled Asparagus; and a vegan entrée of Cauliflower Steak with Roasted Tomatoes and Grilled Asparagus. For dessert, Chef Sharkey outdid herself with a special Graduation Chocolate Cake topped with a Cinnamon Crisp Mortar Board and Icing Tassle.

Following the scrumptious gourmet dinner, it was time to honor the six students with the Scholarship presentations:


Monica Buck is pursuing a Degree in Psychology, and hopes to parlay that into a career in Family Law. “My Dad has influenced me to be open minded to many different perspectives, ideas, values, and cultures,” said Ms. Buck. “This is something I think everyone should have.  To be the recipient of this Springs Country Club Scholarship means a lot to me.  I am able to use this Scholarship given to me by people who care about my higher education.  This Scholarship means a lot to me, not just because of the money, but because it will enable me to utilize these funds toward my tuition, my books, and other college-related expenses.  This definitely helps to get me closer to achieving my goal of pursuing a law career.”

Joseph Xanitis is a first-generation American and the first in his family to attend College. He has completed the LVN to a RN Nursing Program at San Bernardino Valley College, and has now enrolled at California State University, San Bernardino, to complete his Nursing Degree. “I would like to say thank you to The Springs Country Club community for sponsoring my education once again,” said Mr. Xanitis.  “This means a lot to me to be receiving this Scholarship because I’m a first generation graduate who takes care of both of my disabled parents.  I am happy to say with your previous contribution, I successfully graduated from my LVN to RN Nursing Program at San Bernardino Valley College in May.  In addition, I obtained my Associate of Science Nursing Degree with Honors.  This Scholarship will enable me to continue my education by starting my Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree at California State University, San Bernardino.  A Bachelors Degree would open up more opportunities for me in my career, and would make me more marketable in today’s hospital system.”

Collin Douglass is majoring in Psychology, which has been his passion since High School. “Psychology is much larger than hard science,” he says. “There is a mysterious world of consciousness beyond what an EEG can tell you.”

Alexia Rodriguez says she has had a passion for Science since the 8th grade, and is currently in the Health Sciences Program at College of the Desert.  Her goal is to transfer to a four-year university and to accomplish a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Jay Xitlaly, is a Psychology major who plans to pursue a career as a Substance Abuse Counselor. He says he wants to help people through difficult times and “I’m prepared for wherever this career may take me.”

Shelomith Mariane Hoy  graduated from High School a year early with two concurrent Associates Degrees from College of the Desert in Psychology and Economics. She is enrolled at UCLA as an Applied Mathmatics Major, with a possible double major or minor in Economics. “Receiving any Scholarship is always such an honor, signifying that the donor acknowledges your hard work and believes in your potential as a student by choosing to invest in your educational future.  Being offered a Scholarship from The Springs Country Club is that much more personal and meaningful to my family, symbolic of confidence and support from the company my Dad works for.  I would like to thank all The Springs members who generously contribute to the Scholarship fund year-round, as well as the Scholarship Committee for empowering my pursuit of higher education through your sponsorship.”

The Springs Scholarship Fund was started in 2011 by a group of The Springs Country Club members, who would just go around collecting donations. It was a very informal effort in the beginning. Jill Miller and several other Club members endeavored to learn as much as they could about scholarship funding and donations. In 2019, they ultimately made the decision to collaborate with the Desert Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501©3, due to the fact that the Desert Community Foundation could handle all the vetting, reporting, and investing of the funds raised for The Springs Scholarship Program. And, it was further decided that half the funds raised from The Springs Annual Golf Tournament would go to The Springs Scholarship Fund, with the other half of funds raised going to Volunteers In Medicine, a pet charity of The Springs Country Club and The Springs Woman Support Group.

Today, The Springs Scholarship Committee provides fund oversight, sets  eligibility criteria, reviews and makes recommendations for grants, and overseas the management of investment funds. Since the start in 2019 of The Springs Country Club’s valuable  partnership with The Desert Community Foundation, scholarships have been awarded to 16 deserving youth within The Springs community.

The Springs Scholarship criteria incudes:

  1. Applicants must be a full-time or seasonal employee or a child of an employee of The Springs Country Club. The full-time employees must have completed one year of employment, and seasonal employees must have completed two seasons.
  2. Applicants must be a graduate from an accredited High School or have a General Equivalency Diploma from an accredited institution.
  3. Applicants must have qualified for entrance to an accredited two- or four-year college or trade school in the United States, where a degree or certificate of completion can be earned.
  4. Applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  5. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.


“Over the years, The Springs Scholarship Program started as a grassroots labor of love, and has grown into a substantial Scholarship Program today, supporting  education for the youth of our Coachella Valley,” said Jill Miller and Sam Hamrick, Co-chairs of The Springs Scholarship Committee.  “The Springs community’s generosity and support of the Scholarship Program is amazing because it demonstrates their support and appreciation for our employees and all they contribute to making this such a great place to live.”

About The Springs Country .Club

The Springs Country Club is an exclusive, member-owned private Golf, Tennis, and Pickleball community, located in the serene desert oasis of Rancho Mirage, California. The Springs Country Club offers the quintessential desert lifestyle in an environment marked by timeless natural beauty in the heart of the Coachella Valley. The Springs Golf Course, designed by Desmond Muirhead, boasts rolling fairways accentuated with groves of Palm trees, stunning and colorful flowerbeds, and mesmerizing water features. In addition to Golf, The Springs Country Club  offers nine Championship Tennis Courts, along with 12 Pickleball Courts, as part of the sports complex. The Springs Country Club has been recognized by TENNIS MAGAZINE as one of the top 10 tennis facilities in the country.

For more information on Membership at The Springs Country Club, please contact 760-324-8292 or visit