Griffin Burr (right) has been named this year’s Long Island Game Farm scholarship winner. Also pictured (left to right): Melinda Novak, Co-Owner/Vice President, Long Island Game Farm; his parents, Ken and Cheryl Burr; and Jack the giraffe.
September 15, 2011
West Islip High School Graduate Griffin Burr Wins Stanley and Susan Novak Scholarship
Griffin Burr, a graduate of West Islip High School, has won the Long Island Game Farm scholarship of $1,000 to ease his financial responsibilities in his college career. Each year, this award is granted to a graduating senior from Long Island who plans to attend a two-year or higher college or university program and exemplifies the qualities required to become a pioneer in nature; whether it be in the field of veterinary medicine or environmental science.
Griffin, who is from West Islip, will be attending the University of Chicago this month, where he will be majoring in Environmental Studies. He is also looking to study International Relations so when he graduates, he can start up his own research firm to develop water purification technology so underdeveloped countries can have access to clean drinking water.
“I am really excited to receive the scholarship,” Griffin said. “This will help lessen the financial burden while I am in college. I intend to research the water clarity of foreign continents and ways to provide them with pure water. When I visited Asia a few years ago, I contracted cholera. My research will find ways to provide clean water to those in foreign countries and help eradicate such diseases.”
The Long Island Game Farm was founded in 1970 by Stanley and Diane Novak. It features hundreds of animals on 25 acres of land in Manorville. Year after year, the park is visited by thousands and enjoyed by all. It has been an educational site for school children to learn about animals and nature for decades.
The scholarship was established in 2004 to honor the memories of Stanley John Novak, the Game Farm’s co-founder, and his daughter, Susan Mary Novak. In 1999, Stanley Novak was 66 and had been building the Long Island Game Farm for nearly 30 years. Sadly, he died from a heart attack, leaving his legacy behind. In 2001, his daughter, Susan, who worked at the Game Farm since she was five years old, died from Multiple Myeloma at age 37. Both were passionate about animals and were steadfast in maintaining Long Island’s environment.
“I can think of no better way to help preserve the memories of Stanley and Susan. They helped our family pursue its dream of building a park where children can see and interact with animals found in nature. Through this scholarship, we help college students pursue their dreams,” said Diane Novak, Co-Founder and Owner of the Long Island Game Farm.