By Patricia McCormack

The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club on Friday presented the Staples Tuition Grant Fund with a $10,000 check in memory of Cameron Bruce, 18, who died in September in a fall from his three-story dormitory at Queens College in Ontario.

Bruce, a 2010 graduate of Staples High School, was on campus one week when the accident happened. Queens College is his father's alma mater.

Bruce's parents, Linda, who is a Sunrise Rotarian, and Iain, were in attendance as Rotarian Charlie Haberstroh made the presentation to the Cameron Bruce Memorial Scholarship to Ann Hardy, the director of the tuition grant fund. Last year, she said, the fund distributed $265,000 in scholarships to 90 needy college students who are graduates of Staples.

Turning to Cameron's parents, she said, "This is so sad. We all are saddened that Cameron died. But you can be sure that students who benefit from this gift will be reminded of the qualities that made Cameron treasured at Staples and in the community. In sports, academics, music, he excelled and was generous."

Bruce played trumpet at various Westport events, as well as the Norwalk Youth Symphony for five years, where he was the assistant principal trumpet in the 2009-10 season. He was a participant in the Staples symphonic orchestra, band and jazz band, and played taps at Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies in Westport and at the Field of Flags tribute at Saugatuck Congregational Church in June of this year. Before taking up the trumpet, Cameron played the violin. He also was a member of the Staples varsity swim team, and in his senior year, he was a captain of the team, an academic All-American, and a Staples Scholar Athlete. At Staples, Cameron was an AP Scholar with Distinction, a Commended 2010 National Merit Scholar, and he received the Staples Science Department Award for Outstanding Achievement in Forensics.

Hardy said college students receiving scholarships from the fund are at the end of the line when they apply for help with tuition. "They have all the scholarships available to them and loans but they still need help to close the gap during their four years.

"The Cameron Bruce Memorial grants will be well spent on such needy students. The college students who are in our program are given help through the four years of college."

She added, "We'll make certain those receiving aid from the Cameron Bruce Memorial will be reminded each year who Cameron Bruce was, his achievements and all else.

"His spirit will live on in them."