Kelly, who is from Southold, will be attending Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania this fall, where she plans to major in Animal Science. Her future career goal is to become a veterinarian, specializing in the care of small or companion animals with an interest in exotic animals. Upon her graduation from Penn State, Kelly plans to go on to veterinary school and obtain her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
“I am really excited to receive the scholarship,”
Her interest in veterinary medicine and love for animals began at an early age. When she was four years old, her parents bought her a yellow Labrador puppy. Soon, the family had another dog. When her first dog suffered from cancer and her other dog had to be put down due to unknown causes, Kelly wanted to learn what happened to her pets so she could help others understand how animals contract illnesses and diseases and how they can be cured.
“I knew I had to make a difference for other pet owners who felt the same way I did,” Kelly said. “My combined love for animals and motivation to help others will allow me to achieve my goals and find cures that will save many other pets in the future.”
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.