Nine Students Receive Scholarships at Nevada Broadcasters’ Gala

LAS VEGAS – Nine Nevada broadcast students were awarded scholarships at the Nevada Broadcasters Association’s 18th annual gala Aug. 17. The scholarships are funded largely by the gala auction, which took place live and online during the event.

This year, more than 20 applicants competed for the nine available Linda and Tony Bonnici Broadcast/Communications scholarships, which pay for up to 12 credits per semester for one year. Each scholarship also includes an internship in radio or TV broadcasting. Each student’s application is reviewed by a committee, and students are interviewed by phone, in person or via Skype.

Three special Bonnici scholarships are named in honor of Nevadans who have given to the community and the industry. Those scholarships include DeAnne Sheehan, Mike Geary and Gary Waddell.

Notable recipients this year include University of Nevada, Reno student Alexandria Cannito, who has received the scholarship every year of the three years it has been offered; Marcus Lavergne, a Las Vegan who recently changed his major to broadcasting; and University of Nevada, Las Vegas freshman Christina Jones, who performs in “O” by Cirque du Soleil and was introduced to broadcasting as a member of the synchronized swimming team that competed at the Beijing Olympics.

The Bonnicis are well-known Las Vegans in the broadcasting industry. Tony Bonnici worked his way up through the radio ranks and now runs Lotus Broadcasting. Linda Bonnici has worked in the industry for more than 30 years and currently is the vice president of sales at KLAS-TV, Channel 8.

The scholarships’ largest fundraisers are held during the gala’s live and silent auctions. This year, items up for bid included an all-expense paid weekend in Laguna Beach and two nights and three days at the La Casa Del Camino; a private chef for an eight-person private dinner party; autographed guitars by Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson, to name a few; and tickets to top Strip shows including Shania Twain and Motley Crue.