Tamburini tribute funds $10k in RI Police Chiefs Assn. scholarships

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What does a pandemic, a golf tournament, retired Police Chief Richard Tamburini, a lot of the chief’s generous friends and town businesses have to do with dreams of a career in finance or child care? A lot was the answer a group of law enforcement officials and family and friends discovered Thursday at the senior center.

The occasion was the award of $2,000 scholarships by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association to five recently graduated high school seniors who are now, or about to, pursue their higher education.

As David DeCesare, Chief of the Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs and master of ceremonies explained, the RI Police Chiefs Association annual golf tournament would have raised the money to fund the scholarships.

But this year the association was thrown a COVID curve ball. The tournament was cancelled. This is also the year, however, that Chief Tamburini decided it was time to retire after a 54-year career in law enforcement.

That’s big and the Sun Rise did not want the retirement to go unnoticed. The paper would be doing stories, yet it seemed there should be much more. Reporter Pete Fontaine suggested a special section and it became obvious there was wide spread support for a section.

Depending on the success of the section, Chief Tamburini saw the opportunity of continuing the scholarship program even though there wouldn’t be a tournament. Albeit later than usual, the word went out and 18 members of the Class of 2020 applied for scholarships.

“The Class of 2020 has been deprived of many celebratory opportunities this year and are now experiencing trying times as they embark upon their freshman year of college. As if being a freshman wasn’t already challenging enough, these incoming freshmen are not getting the true college experience of being on campus and attending person classes, sports events and other social, student-body bonding events. That is why the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association felt it was important to not deny these graduates of the Class of 2020 the financial assistance of our annual scholarship,” said DeCesare.

Coventry High graduate Nathan Carroll, son of Sean and Rebecca Carroll, who is taking advantage of the RI Promise program of two years of free tuition at CCRI said he would use to money to buy books and computer equipment. He called the scholarship a “big help” as he pursues his goal to earn a MBA in financial management.

Jessica Imbriglio, an East Greenwich High grad attending Adelphi University, was unable to attend the event. However, her mother Christine read her note of thanks.

“These unprecedented times have been a challenge but for me they have served as more inspiration to study harder and be ready to respond to the medical needs of the community.” She is studying nursing at Adelphi. Her father, David is a patrol officer with the East Greenwich Police Department.

LaSalle Academy graduate Alessandra Martellini is attending Rhode Island College where she is majoring in early childhood education with a minor in psychology. She is the daughter of Paul and Gina Martellini and is also working for the Town of Johnston.

Cameron Pezzulo, a graduate of Smithfield High is attending CCRI and is looking to continue at URI to major in biomedical engineering. Cameron is the son of Gerald and Mary Pezzullo.

The fifth scholarship recipient, Brooke Pinocci graduated from Burrillville High and is attending Eastern Connecticut University studying early childhood education with a minor in psychology. She is the daughter of Joel and Brandy Pinocci.

DeCesare thanked Tamburini and the Sun Rise “and all those companies, agencies and individuals who donated to the cause to make today’s scholarship awards possible.”

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