(Updated, Monday 11am)
The Christopher Daniel Mello Memorial Award will be announced this Friday at an event at Rye High School. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event is restricted in size and will invitation-only.
Since 2002, the Mello family has presented two scholarships in honor of their son Christopher who was a victim of the 9-11 attacks. Chris was on Flight 11 from Boston heading to California for a business trip when his plane went into the World Trade Tower.
The scholarships have been awarded to a Harrison Football Player and a Rye Football Player at the Harrison-Rye regular season football game each Fall. This historic regular season game has been played since early 1930s.
Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will not be a Rye Harrison game or a football season at all this fall. However, this Friday there will be an invitation-only event announcing and honoring the two winners of the 2020-2021 scholarship at the Rye High School football stadium.
The criteria for the scholarship was defined by the Mello family as a mechanism to keep Chris’s memory alive. The coaches from each high school select the athlete who most closely emulates Chris’s character and values. Doug Mello, Chris’ father says, “My son would embrace anything to enhance this great rivalry and the sport of high school football within Harrison and Rye.”
Since the first scholarships were awarded, there have been 37 scholarships given totaling more than $50,000+ to date. Today, the scholarship amount awarded to each player is $5,000 apiece. The annual golf outing and dinner fundraiser was canceled due to COVID-19, but the family felt it was critical to keep the momentum going during these trying times.
“The support of the Harrison and Rye communities is as strong as ever this year! We couldn’t do it without these great folks” says Doug Mello.
Watch a video about the award: