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Hlifka gets scholarship from Rotary

March 10, 2016
By Ann Weidman - Special to the Republican , Westfield Republican

It was a Tuesday evening get-together for Westfield/Mayville Rotarians - a special get-together because the Feb. 23 gathering was a special time for Nick Hlifka, who had been invited for a particular reason.

Nick, who has been blind since birth, was joined by his parents, Gene and Gale Hlifka. He was about to receive a $5,000 scholarship from Rotary District 7090 representatives, Kevin Crosby, district governor; and Shefaci, district scholarship chair. His name and qualifications were entered by Dan Smith, W/M Rotary's New Generations chair.

Those in attendance most likely asked themselves: What does a blind person see?

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Helping to show his scholarship, Nick Hlifka stands with, left, Dan Smith, W/M Rotary New Generation chair; Adele Harrington, W/M Rotary president; right, Shefazi Clerk, District 7090 scholarship chair; and Kevin Crosby, district governor. Smith submitted Nick’s name to Rotary District 7090’s scholarship chair.

As someone once said, "I know the short answer is nothing, but I want to know what to compare it to. Does he see something comparable to when we close our eyes, is it something completely different? I imagine not many know the answer because you would have to have a lot of guts to ask a blind person that question."

You don't have to have "a lot of guts" to ask Nick that question - or any question. He is very friendly and knowledgeable with a great sense of humor.

Having graduated as valedictorian at Sherman Central School last year, Nick is currently a Jamestown Community College student majoring in math and science. He plans to attend Houghton College in Houghton in the fall as a junior and change his current major to the ministry. As for his future career, he says, "I hope to use this (scholarship) funding to eventually bless the world through the ministry."

Among his varied subjects, Nick said he "always loved to write," which is one of many ways to spotlight the ministry. "Blindfaith is a website that I use to start my writings at this time in my life."

In thanking Rotarians for his monetary gift, Nick said, "I'm very appreciative of this generosity and support of Rotary Club in helping to fund my education."

Of one thing Nick can be assured, and that is the encouragement from the Sherman Central School and the Westfield/Mayville Rotarians.



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