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Marion Community Foundation 2017 Scholarships Awarded

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Marion Community Foundation announces more than $291,000 in awards to 140 Marion area high school seniors and graduates in its 2017 Scholarship Program.
“This year, we are awarding 193 scholarships to local students to help them further their education and career goals,” said President and CEO Dean L. Jacob. “We are thankful to Marion Community Foundation’s donors who make these robust scholarship resources possible for the community.”

The 2017 award recipients include 92 graduating seniors from nine area high schools and 48 Marion area college students representing 22 colleges and universities. Scholarship program coordinator Julie Prettyman described the selection process as competitive and challenging.

“Every year, the number of exceptional applicants outweighs our scholarship fund resources,” she said. “Most of our scholarships are criteria-based, rather than merit-based; so, extracurricular school and community involvement is, in many cases, just as important as academic achievement. We do this to honor our donors’ intentions and award the scholarships according to the criteria they created.”

A signature award of Marion Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program – the Wopat Scholars – annually provides four-year renewable scholarships to outstanding local students. In 2017, four individuals are being recognized as Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Scholars; they include:  Manuel Acuna of River Valley High School, Shania Butcher and Taylor Moore of Harding High School, and Valentina Martin of Pleasant High School.  Each of these students will receive a $4,000 award in 2017, which is renewable for an additional three years provided they continue to meet the scholarship’s criteria.

“These multi-year, renewable scholarships would not be possible without the forward-thinking generosity of Robert and Dorothy Wopat,” said Jacob. “Their life story is one of truly giving and believing in Marion. They, like our scholarship recipients, are MarionMade!”

The Wopat Scholar awards were created in 2010 by a substantial gift from the late Robert M. and Dorothy C. Wopat. In 2008, the Wopats donated $17 million to Marion Community Foundation to establish three funds. In addition to their scholarship fund, they created the Wopat Community Fund and the Wopat YMCA Fund, which award grants annually.  The late Robert Wopat was a former chief executive with GTE who, along with his wife, Dorothy, established funds at the Foundation to improve the quality of life in Marion.

Several new scholarship funds began making awards for the first time in this, the 2017 Marion Community Foundation Scholarship Program; they include: Norman Withrow Golf Scholarship, Mary Ellen Withrow Scholarship, Dr. Shelton & Becky Williams Scholarship, Beulah Mae Williams Scholarship, Whirlpool Corp/OneEnergy S.T.E.M. Scholarship, Three Sisters Nursing Scholarship, Clifford & Frances Strine Family Scholarship, Daniel B. Stover Memorial Scholarship, Laura Rush & Tom Rosol Nursing Student Scholarship, Charles E. Orcena Scholarship, Marion Noon Kiwanis Club’s Bob Columber Memorial Scholarship, and 13 new Marion Rotary Club scholarships.

The 2017 Marion Community Foundation Scholarship recipients and their award(s) are as follows:

Elgin High School


Savannah Amerson—Eugene and Cecilia Reszczynski, and Stormy Ray Cushing scholarships;

Kori Anderson—Marge Sorreles Davies Memorial Scholarship;

Jedidiah Doss—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Syler Dyer—Beulah Mae Williams Scholarship;

Cade Field—Marion Rotary Club’s Scholarship;

Kiralynn Moser—Everett Family Scholarship;

Kassandra Pryor—Daniel B. Stover Memorial Scholarship;

Michael Shoemaker—Vera O. McDanel Scholarship;



Kain Anderson—Jeannette Turner Memorial, and Rubcich Family scholarships;

Hollie Dunn—Vera O. McDanel Scholarship;

Hannah Fuller—Helen M. Thew Memorial Scholarship;

Jacob Lee—Marguerite Marcelin Hastings Memorial Scholarship;

Kadi Vermillion—Christopher B. Ream Scholarship;



Marion Harding High School


Alec Beickelman—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Kia Branstetter—Helen E. Evans Scholarship;

Olivia Brazel—Beatrice Prior Memorial, and Clare Cooke Performing Arts scholarships;

Shania Butcher—Dr. James S. & Mary Gray Greetham Memorial, Marion Rotary Club’s R.T. Lewis, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Morgan Collins—Kenny Martin Memorial Scholarship;

Britnee Conley—Isabel Freer Memorial Scholarship;

Owen Fransen—Donald B. Justice Memorial Scholarship;

Tyreece Harris—Kenny Martin Memorial Scholarship;

Tyriq Harris—Danny C. Sipes Memorial Scholarship;

Eric Jankowski—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Aundrea Jordan—Marion Area Auxiliary Scholarship;

Kennedy Kelly—Cornell/Goodman, and Marion Rotary Club’s W. Hoover Brown scholarships;

Suzanna King—Dr. Sarah Kulkofsky Memorial Scholarship;

Lauren Lightfoot—Beatrice Prior Memorial Scholarship;

Zachary Lingo—Kory Kirkpatrick Memorial, Marion Rotary Club’s Warren Brown, and Rocco Nicolosi Memorial scholarships;

Alexander Maynard—Cornell/Goodman Scholarship;

Faith McGinn—Herbert & Jane Tillett, and Mandy Kruder Memorial scholarships;

Max Mitchell—Alex, Mandy Kruder Memorial, and Paul Pezley Baseball scholarships;

Tayler Moore—Beatrice Prior Memorial, Marion Area Auxiliary, Marion Rotary Club’s Warren G. Harding, Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat, and Stewie Family scholarships;

Phillip Nicol—Marion Rotary Club’s Robert C. Dowd, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Tait Palm—Taft Middle School Music Dept Scholarship;

Logan Pirnstill—Art and Anne Huggler Memorial, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Madison Randolph—Donald B. Justice Memorial Scholarship;

Raeleigh Richards—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Nathaniel Riddle—Gene Jerew Memorial, and Joe Petrich & Al Beach Memorial scholarships;

Cloie Riedlinger—Mandy Kruder Memorial Scholarship;

Zane Sexton—Eugene and Cecilia Reszczynski, and Stormy Ray Cushing scholarships;

Sidney Street—Carol S. Geissler Memorial, and Vera O. McDanel scholarships;

Taylor Thrasher—Beatrice Prior Memorial Scholarship;

Joseph Tinnerello—Aris Kasotis Memorial Scholarship;



Aubrey-Leigh Baker—Three Sisters Nursing Scholarship;

Ashley Brancamp—Ted & Elaine Mitchell Scholarship;

Alexus Holmes—Philip Leedom Memorial Scholarship;

Michelle Houston—Carol S. Geissler Memorial Scholarship;

Allison James—Eula M. Rhoads, and Jeannette White Memorial scholarships;

Clayton Maggs—Charles E. Orcena Scholarship;

Brandon Riedlinger—Louise Kling Scholarship;

Kier Scott—Catherine Amelia Thew Brown, Helen M. Thew Memorial, and Jeannette Turner Memorial scholarships;

Fallyn Stephens—Mary Ellen Withrow Scholarship;

Berenice Watts—Gladys & Everett Granger Memorial, and Harper-Stuckey MTC scholarships;


Pleasant High School


Drayson Campbell—Joe & Peggy Casey Memorial, Pleasant Academic Boosters, Pleasant Local Schools Board of Education, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Clayton Cheney—Marion Elks Lodge No. 32 Scholarship;

Hayden Craycraft—Wayne Hoch Memorial Scholarship;

Tyler Crease—Andrew Wigton Memorial, and Douglas and Elaine Waring Memorial scholarships;

Samuel Hostetter—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Andrew Joehlin—John T. Gordon Memorial Eagle Scout, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Ashton-Tailor Johnson—Eugene and Cecilia Reszczynski Scholarship;

Gretchen Kieffer—Marion Noon Kiwanis Club’s Bob Columber Memorial, Marion Rotary Club’s Catherine Ferguson, and Pleasant Academic Boosters scholarships;

Alexis Kowalczyk—Andrew Wigton Memorial, Pleasant Academic Boosters, and Stormy Ray Cushing scholarships;

James Lee—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Valentina Martin—Marion Rotary Club’s Robert E. Kibbey, Pleasant Academic Boosters, Pleasant Local Schools Board of Education, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Catherine Pelfrey—Stephanie K. Lust Memorial Scholarship;

Caleb Reed—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Hailey Simmons—Eugene and Cecilia Reszczynski Scholarship;

Cameron Smith—Sims Family Scholarship;

Joshua Warner—Roger & Donna Holbrook Scholarship;

Grace White—Marion Rotary Club’s Scholarship;

Brett Wilson—Sims Family Scholarship;



Kim Cannane-—Community’s Memorial Scholarship honoring Orville ‘Roy’ Hazen and Virgil & Ron Holman, and Gladys & Everett Granger Memorial scholarships;

Melissa Dean—Youth Engaged in Philanthropy Scholarship;

Heather deJonge—Helen M. Thew Memorial Scholarship;

Hannah Kantzer—William & Marjorie Grover Scholarship;

Boston Osborne—Catherine Amelia Thew Brown Scholarship;

Lauren Verity—Catherine Amelia Thew Brown Scholarship   ;


Ridgedale High School


Chelsie Brenzo—Craig, and Stormy Ray Cushing scholarships;

Emma Forry—Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Scholarship;

Evan Hunsicker—Marion Rotary Club’s Harold Hall, and Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. scholarships;

Rylee Kramer—Eula M. Rhoads, and Marion Area Auxiliary scholarships;

Sydney Rasnick—Adam Johnston Memorial Scholarship;


Shannon Saylor—Dr. Shelton & Becky Williams Scholarship;


River Valley High School


Manuel Acuna—David K. Rogers Memorial, Marion Area Auxiliary, Marion Rotary Club’s Wayne Kuhn, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Ashley Awbrey—A. B. and Hazel Augenstein Scholarship;

Austin Chivington—Caledonia Alumni Association Scholarship;

Jonathan Culler—Brenda Dye Music Boosters Scholarship;

Allison Edwards—Stormy Ray Cushing Scholarship;

Emma Heimlich—Clifford and Frances Strine Family Scholarship;

Cort Klingel—Eula M. Rhoads, and Marion Area Auxiliary scholarships;

Christina Longo—John & Jackie Watkins, and Marion Rotary Club’s Karl W. Schell scholarships;

Toni Mathews—Alex Masters Memorial, Eugene and Cecilia Reszczynski, Jeannette Turner Memorial, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Amelia Poorman—Marion Noon Kiwanis Club, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Parker Rieke—Marion Noon Kiwanis Club Scholarship;

Benjamin Smith—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Ethan Springer—Bergmann Family, and Marion Noon Kiwanis Club scholarships;

Joshua Strine—Eddie Shelton Agricultural, Marion Rotary Club’s Ralph W. Howard, and Norman Withrow Golf scholarships;

Paayal Vora—Marion Rotary Club’s George Scantland, and Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat scholarships;

Natalie Wagner—Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy S.T.E.M. Scholarship;

Hannah Weiss—Vera O. McDanel Scholarship;



Jax Harville—Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Scholarship;

Evan Springer—Marion Academy of Medicine Scholarship;

Aaron Suarez—Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Scholarship;


Cardington-Lincoln High School


Nathaniel Lelan—Charles L. Hastings Memorial Scholarship;


North Union High School


Avery Ballinger—Erin Y. James Memorial Scholarship;

Conor Hoffman—Dr. Kathy Dixon Memorial Scholarship;



Ridgemont High School (Ridgemont Scholarship)


Shaye Creamer, Taylor Cronley, Wayne Geissinger, Wyatt James, Zachary Jenkins, Noah Langston, Dakota McLane, Alexander Ramsey, Grace Richardson, Nashley Robinson, Justin Tackett;



Katelyn Brown, Amber Creviston, Katelyn Marshall, Sara McFadden, Grace Poeppelman, Lyndsey Schwartz, Colin Turner;

Home School


Bethany Gliem—Marion Area Auxiliary Scholarship;


Karson Hewett—Laura Rush & Tom Rosol Nursing Student Scholarship;



The Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat Scholar awards are 4-year renewable awards. Past recipients who qualified for award renewal this year include: Mary Camm (Ashland University), Kayla Croyle (Kent State University), Wes Gherman (University of Cincinnati), Kyle Goings (New York University), Jenna Houdashelt (University of Toledo), Sarah Longo (Ohio State University), Kensey McCuller (Ashland University), William Pierce (Ohio Northern University), Shelby Rasnick (Bowling Green State University), Jennifer Schott (Tiffin University), and Linsie Zhang (Ohio State University).

The A. B. and Hazel Augenstein Scholarship Fund is a multi-year scholarship for graduates of River Valley High School. Past recipients who qualified for award renewal this year include: Marina Maynard (Ohio State University), Mitchel Phillians (University of Akron), and Colin Smith (Ohio State University).

The 2017 Marion Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee consisted of Kathy Goodman (chair), Larry Geissler, Nancy Hafer, Sue Jacob, Megan Queen, and Nicole Workman. This group coordinated the selection committees of the various scholarship funds, reviewed all of the applications, and provided recommendations to Marion Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“We wish we could award more scholarships,” said Jacob. “We encourage the creation of new scholarship funds, which establish a lasting legacy for both the donor and future recipients. Creating a scholarship fund is easy and you certainly don’t have to be a millionaire to start one.”


Marion Community Foundation is a charitable organization which supports Marion area nonprofit organizations and local students with grants and scholarships from its 200+ endowed funds.  Established in 1998, the Foundation has, in that time, awarded more than $10 million in community support.  Its offices are located inside the historic Stengel-True Museum at 504 S. State St. in Marion. Office hours are weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Information is available by calling 740-387-9704 or online at