It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of another school year, which means children of all ages will be out and about. Graduations are filling calendar dates and graduates prepare to move on to another phase in their lives. Accompanying this time of year are the numerous award ceremonies honoring graduates of all kinds as well as numerous ceremonies for those receiving scholarships.
At a recent scholarship reception held at Riverside-Brookfield High School it was interesting to note where some of the scholarships come from, how they have been instituted by individuals and organizations and just how we are all a part of the scholarships.
Did it ever occur to you that every time you donate money to the Kiwanis Club and get a bag of peanuts you are helping to fund a scholarship to local students? This year the Riverside Kiwanis Club gave out four scholarships to RB students, while the Brookfield club handed out five scholarships.
This does not include the number of recipients from other schools who are area residents. The purchase of Vidalia onions from the Riverside Masonic Lodge or supporting their other fundraisers provided a scholarship for a student.
Other organizations in our area, including the American Association of University Women, the Rotary Club of Brookfield-Riverside, Riverside Junior Women’s Charity, and Rich Port YMCA Men’s Club show their support of young adults.
Memorial scholarships have given an added opportunity for graduates to pursue higher education and remember former students who passed away at an early age.
The Steven J. Duve Memorial Award was established in memory of Steve Duve, who died in an auto accident while in college. Kristen Fuerst is remembered through a scholarship given to a tennis player at RB High School. Fuerst was a student at the school when she died in a train accident in 1990.
The family of Rob Lenzi has established a foundation in memory of their son, making available this year two scholarships to deserving students. Ryan Womack was a child who died in what is remembered as “the Little League accident” in Riverside.
His family chose to remember Ryan through scholarships, which are administered through the Riverside Presbyterian Church.
Aaron Semenske, himself a recipient of many scholarships, is remembered by his family and friends through a renewable scholarship. Many of the scholarships mentioned are funded by investments and fundraising events which you may have supported.
Within RB High School itself are organizations which distribute scholarships or establish memorials to provide further educational opportunities.
You may have attended the R-B Patrons’ Council Fashion Show. If you did, or purchased a raffle ticket, you helped the organization present 12 scholarships to deserving students. If you supported the RB Educational Foundation Telethon, your donation made it possible to establish the Robert Gwinn Scholarship.
On the evening of May 24, some 24 groups participated in an evening referred to as “Local Scholarships” and distributed 68 scholarships. While you may not have been directly involved in any of the scholarships, it is nice to know you can be a part of supporting many of the groups who are directly involved.
Congratulations to all graduates who are attending any area schools as you go forth, regardless of whether you have been singled out for recognition or awarded a scholarship for your accomplishments.
Special congrats to Stephanie on her graduation from Hauser. Grammy and Poppy are proud of you. She will continue on at RB, where she will be the third generation of the family to attend the school.