Meramec Regional Community Foundation awards $69K in scholarships to area students

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Graduating seniors from Belle High School who received scholarships through the Maries County R2 Schools Foundation pose in the first two rows with members of the Maries County R2 School Foundation and members of the MRCF board on the top row. Front Row: Brandon Ostertag, Gracie Schultz, Chloe Krause, Kenzi Centroute, Halle Smith, Maddie Long and Mikae Lough. Second Row: Caleb Miller, Rose Baxter, Olivia Sanders, Lane Feeler, Dillon Rice, Brayden Tipton, Keleigh Guinn and Gentry Dunn. Third Row: Chris Feeler, Bonnie Prigge, Steve Vogt, Jan Sassmann, Tasha Busch and Vicki Nelson.

The Meramec Regional Community Foundation was able to award 31 Meramec Region students with scholarships totaling $69,300. 

Of the 31 scholarships, 23 were awarded through the assistance of the Maries County R-2 Schools Foundation to Maries County R-2 – Belle High School 2021 graduating seniors. 

The 23 scholarship awards totaled $35,800. Another $13,000 worth of scholarships was awarded to the Belle High School alumni who qualified for renewable scholarships. 

The Maries County R-2 Schools Foundation works to ensure that every graduating senior who wishes to pursue higher education will have a scholarship available to them. 

“Fourteen of the scholarships in our portfolio are available to only graduating seniors at Belle High School,” said Bonnie Prigge, executive director of MRPC and MRCF board member. “Area families and Belle High School alumni have really stepped up to establish endowed scholarships for graduating seniors. The Maries County R-2 Schools Foundation has been an integral part of that effort by sharing information, establishing a community scholarship fund and hosting an annual fundraiser.” 

The scholarships through the Maries County R-2 Schools Foundation benefiting Belle High School seniors were awarded as follows: 

• The Alan D. and Yvonne L. Skouby Scholarship – Halle Smith for $400

• The Mae, Grace and George Bacon Scholarship – Brandon Ostertag for $500

• The Maries County R-2 Schools Foundation Community Scholarships – Lane Feeler for $2,000 and Olivia Sanders for $1,500

• Party-Butler Family Scholarship – Madilynn Long for $3,000, Rose Baxter for $3,000 and Kenzi Cetroute for $3,000

• Carolyn Holt Scholarship – Chloe Krause for $1,000

• Kaeding-Winter Scholarship – Brayden Tipton for $3,000 and Gracie Schultz for $1,000.

• Maries County R-2 PTO Scholarship – Kaleb Miller for $700.

• Ruth and Gene Ridenhour MD Scholarship (State Tech) – Gentry Dunn for $500.

• Ruth and Gene Ridenhour MD Scholarship II – Mikal Lough for $1,000.

• David Sassmann Memorial Scholarship (Belle Lions Club) – Lane Feeler for $600.

• Ted and Edna Leffler Scholarship – Olivia Sanders for $4,000, Kenzi Cetroute for $2,000 and Keleigh Guinn for $2,000.

• Schierloh Family Maries R-2 Renewable Scholarship (first year) – Dillon Rice for $3,000 and Gracie Schultz for $3,000. 

• Koch-Lange Family Scholarship – Rose Baxter for $600.

• Schierloh Family Maries R-2 Renewable Scholarship (renewals to Belle High School alumni) – Heather Parrish for $5,000, Skyler Rice for $4,000 and Sydney Lange for $4,000.

MRCF also coordinates the Schierloh Family Scholarship for State Technical College, in partnership with State Technical College. This years awards are:

• Schierloh Family Scholarship for State Technical College of Missouri – Alexi Struemph of Vienna High School for $5,000, Andrew Cox of Warrenton High School for $5,000 and Brett Nauerth of Higbee High School for $5,000.

• Schierloh Family Scholarship for State Technical College of Missouri (renewal) – Colby Stigall, Richmond, MO, for $3,000. 

The Schierloh Family Scholarship for State Technical College of Missouri is available to graduating seniors who are pursuing a degree at State Tech. The scholarships are renewable for an additional year with a total of $8,000 per student. 

Additionally, MRCF awarded the Richard and Jeanne Cavender Scholarship for Public Service, which is a regional scholarship open to all graduating seniors in the Meramec Region, and the Cole-Mahan Scholarship and the Claude and Irene Morgan Scholarship, both of which go to graduating seniors at Waynesville High School. 

“The MRCF board appreciates the trust of those who have established scholarship funds with MRCF and we are honored to award these scholarships to the deserving students who received them,” Vicki Lange, MRCF chairman, said. 

The scholarships were awarded as follows:

• Richard and Jeanne Cavender Scholarship for Public Service for $750 each to Amy Chen and Lucas Morrison, both from Salem High School. 

Graduating seniors of Salem High School Amy Chen, pictured left, and Lucas Morrison receive the Richard and Jeanne Cavender Scholarship for Public Service as presented by Jeanne Cavender and Richard Cavender.

• The Cole-Mahan Scholarship for $500 to Hunter M. Poole of Waynesville High School.

• The Claude and Irene Morgan Scholarship for $500 to Oluwamisayo Mary Ologun from Waynesville High School. 

Oluwamisayo Ologun, center, was presented with the Claude and Irene Morgan Scholarship for $500 at the Waynesville High School honors night. Randy Becht with MRCF, pictured second from left, presented the certificate.

MRCF is an outgrowth of MRPC and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Lange of Osage County serves as president of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 54 funds totaling over $3.76 million.

Those who are interested in establishing an endowed scholarship can contact Bonnie Prigge or Maria Bancroft at MRPC via the phone at 573-265-2993 or via email at bprigge@meramecregion.org or mbancroft@meramecregion.org.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 53 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,261 charitable funds totaling approximately $310 million in assets, as of June 30, 2020. 

CFO has a searchable scholarship function on its website at cfozarks.org. 

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a regional grant program, provides staff support to MRCF.