The Community Action Council of Portage County and Battagila family created the Phyllis Battaglia/CAC Memorial Scholarship to honor the legacy of a woman whose life impacted so many within the area.
Phyllis and her husband Nick were owners of Battaglia’s Garden Center in Ravenna, a family business they started in 1970 in a little red barn on the corner of Summit and Rootstown Roads and continued to sell plants in that location, adding a building as the business expanded. In 1981 they moved the business to their current location at 3049 St. Rt. 59 in Ravenna and built a glass greenhouse. The following year a pole building was added, and they ran a farm market and garden center.
After that first season, they decided to focus on the garden center. Additional greenhouses were added as the business grew and more space was needed for growing and displaying plants. Battaglia’s Garden Center became known for having a high-quality selection of plants and is known for excellent customer service.
Phyllis was especially known for designing beautiful combination pots, hay racks, and hanging baskets. She took great pride and joy in the presentation of the plants in the greenhouses, had a tremendous eye for detail and saw beauty in all things.
One of her favorite things to do was her custom design work and she took great pride and joy in working with Kent State University designing the large gray flowerpots and hanging baskets that are placed all over campus. She also enjoyed working with the City of Ravenna and City of Kent in designing and planting the hanging baskets that are hung downtown.
Phyllis was an organizer and a planner, a good businesswoman who treated employees well and always put her customers first. She was known as an honest and gracious businesswoman, respected for her knowledge and dedication to her customers. Phyllis was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to many.
She was fiercely loving, always put family first. She was often described as beautiful, kind, and compassionate, funny, yet wise, remarkably clever, a bit ornery, as well as determined, dedicated and unbelievably dependable. Her family appreciated her forgiving gentle spirit, quiet strength, and selfless devotion to those she loved.
To be eligible for the Phyllis Battaglia/CAC Memorial Scholarship, the following criteria must be met by the applicant:
- Be a graduating high school senior with a permanent residence in Portage County
- Minimum 3.0 grade point average
- Be enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program at an accredited college, university, technical or trade school to receive the scholarship award
- Submit an essay (not to exceed 500 words) describing need and/or future career goal that this scholarship will help you achieve
Preference will be given to first generation college, technical or trade school students, and/or students of designated as low income or are from a family designated as low income. This is a single year scholarship award to the recipient. The amount will be determined by the Portage Foundation based on the endowment scholarship fund annual income.