Thomas A. Georgalas graduated from Warwick Valley High School in 2005 and went on to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
At the time of his passing he had advanced to a position of sous chef at Simon and the Whale, a Manhattan restaurant associated with the Freehand Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
While in High School Tom was employed by the Bobolink Farm in Vernon, N.J. There he learned wood-fired bread-baking and cheese-making.
It was at Bobolink that he developed a passion for cooking and a keen interest in the farm-to-table movement.
As a cook and then sous chef and for a time Chef, his goal was to eventually open a restaurant that implemented the “farm-to-table” concept of local sourcing of food and directing commerce to benefit farms in the community.
His family has decided after much consideration that they would offer the Thomas Georgalas Farm to Table Scholarship award available to seniors who plan to pursue a culinary career with a focus on the “farm-to-table concept.”
The value of the scholarship is $1,000. It is available to Warwick High School seniors continuing onto culinary school or entering the restaurant or food trades from the program at BOCES.
When Tom passed away, his family received numerous letters and communications reflecting on Tom’s consistent kindness to everyone. These messages came from classmates at the Warwick schools that he attended and from co-workers in restaurant kitchens.
A consistent remembrance of Tom was that he treated everyone, especially classmates and workmates, with respect and kindness even in the stressful environment of a restaurant kitchen.
With this mind the family has created the Thomas A. Georgalas Kindness Award. A $1,000 award is available to seniors who have demonstrated an overall attitude of kindness, empathy and respect towards their fellow students and their community.
The community is invited to contribute to the scholarship fund in Tom’s memory to assist young graduates of our high school in pursuit of their dreams and to promote kindness in the world.
Donation checks should be made out to the Warwick Valley School District identifying the donation as being for the Thomas A. Georgalas Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please send the donation to Thomas A. Georgalas Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 154, Warwick, NY 10990.
Application forms and more detailed information about the scholarship are available at the guidance office of the Warwick Valley High School.