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Distributions from the Fund will provide post-secondary scholarships to East Grand Rapids High School (EGRHS) seniors for enrollment in a college/university, vocational/technical school, art or design school, or school of nursing in the United States.
Selection Committee. Scholarship recipients will be selected by a 5 person selection committee appointed by the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation Board of Trustees. The make-up of the committee will include the chair of the EGRSF Administration Committee, EGRSF board member, EGRHS alumni and a former, or, if unavailable, current member of the EGR faculty.
Amount. The amount of each scholarship grant generally will not be less than $1,000 or exceed an amount that would displace other financial aid available to the recipient. The amount of the scholarship grant may vary from year to year at the discretion of the Board based on the income available to make a new award. The source of the funding for the EGRSF Scholarship will come from the EGRSF annual income available for grant making.
Eligibility. Individuals may apply for scholarship grants based upon the following criteria:
a. Student is a graduating East Grand Rapids High School senior
b. Minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 unweighted scale
c. Extracurricular involvement
d. Planned enrollment in a college/university or vocational/technical school, art or design school, or school of nursing in the United States. Scholarship awards will be paid directly to the school in which the awardee enrolls.
e. EGRSF student board members and children of current EGRSF board members are not eligible to apply.
The deadline for submission of applications is May 1.
When Charles B. Ridenour Jr. was a student-athlete at Holland High School, his seasonal goal was always to do better than his friends on the teams at East Grand Rapids High School. When Chip was transferred to West Michigan in 1978 as a representative of a major hospital supply manufacturer, there was only one place he knew he wanted to live: East Grand Rapids.
Chip quickly adopted EGR as his own. He was a fixture at EGR athletic events, and he developed a wide circle of friends among East residents. When his daughter, Concy, was born in 1989, he was excited not only about the prospect of following her through the EGR schools, but of becoming more involved himself in school activities.
That dream was cruelly cut short in November 1996 when Chip passed away after a brief but heroic battle against cancer. The EGR Schools Foundation seemed immediately appropriate as the beneficiary of memorial gifts. The generous response has enabled friends and family to establish an annual memorial scholarship to honor those values and qualities which were central to Chip’s personality – the speed and ease with which he made, retained and nurtured friends; the obvious genuine regard for the dignity of each individual; and the ability to bring cohesion into even the most potentially divisive situation. His friendly conversation wasn’t just a gesture—it was sustained by a very real care and concern for all of his friends.
As Chip’s great friend, Bob VenHuizen wrote,”….most of all, Chip just made us feel better about the world. There’s a certain joy we’ve known as Chip’s friends that we can keep forever….and maybe even recreate in some future generations. And it will certainly tell the world how much we value what we’ve learned and shared with Chip….and now each other.”
About the Scholarship
The Charles B. “Chip” Ridenour Memorial Scholarship is given annually to:
• a graduating senior;
• who will be attending post-secondary school;
• one who has shown the capacity repeatedly throughout his/her school career to make others feel good about themselves; and
• one who best exemplifies the qualities that Chip showed in his many friendships: caring, nurturing, and his regard for the dignity of the individual.
The scholarship will fund up to $1,000, based on the value of the fund at the end of the previous fiscal year, for post-secondary education costs. Nominations may be submitted by faculty, administrators, staff, Clergy, friends, family or neighbors. The deadline for submission of nominations is May 1.
Growing up, Reid VanGelderen always had a competitive edge. Whether playing hockey, lacrosse, or even bowling with his friends or big brother Peter, Reid had one goal: Win.
In 1997, the ever-competitive Reid was faced with an opponent that many of us would have succumbed to. Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Reid, in his typical fashion, never gave up. Throughout his struggles, he never mentioned his hardships, never complained, and always fought. Reid was there to win.
In 2001 Reid had finally beaten cancer, and was looking forward to leading a normal teenage life. Throughout high school, Reid excelled in athletics as well as academics. However it was the strength of Reid’s character, his soft-spoken confidence, inclusive good nature, and ability to make others smile that made him a friend and role model to so many.
In 2007 Reid faced the challenge of a lifetime once more. Again, Reid was diagnosed with a cancer that he was determined to beat. As Reid endured his final competition, he also became a great teacher; he taught us all what was truly important in life. He showed us how to be strong, how to have unfaltering faith, and how to show love to those most important to us. Above all, Reid taught us to live each day to its fullest, and to never give up.
On August 18, 2008, Reid lost his final battle with cancer. Though his passing seemed premature and profoundly unfair, Reid was an amazing teacher, and an incredible gift. His spirit will live on through all of those he touched in his lifetime.
Reid VanGelderen was the consummate person. He was an exceptional friend, teammate, brother and son. He impacted the lives of countless relatives, friends, and strangers alike. His kindness, strength, and courage will never be matched. This scholarship is given in Reid’s name to continue helping others, as Reid so often did, and to remember his fearless message: Never give up.
About the Fund and Scholarship
The Reid VanGelderen Memorial Fund was started by a group of Reid’s friends. Their goal is to perpetuate Reid’s character, courage, and perseverance through donations to the DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.), and an annual academic scholarship for an East Grand Rapids High School student. Working in conjunction with the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, they created a scholarship that will memorialize Reid’s character forever. The scholarship will fund $1,000 for post-secondary education costs. In addition, it will provide a matched donation of $1,000 to DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (P.O.R.T.). Nominations may be submitted by faculty, administrators, staff, clergy, friends, families or neighbors. The deadline for submission of nominations is May 1. The announcement of the scholarship will be made at the Senior Honors Assembly.
The Reid VanGelderen Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to:
• a graduating senior;
• who will be attending post-secondary school;
• and has displayed high moral character and integrity throughout his/her high school career;
• and has practiced academic excellence, and involvement in extra-curricular activities;
• all while facing adversity (such as illness, injury, family crises, distinct disadvantages, etc.)
The VanGelderen scholarship committee will review written nominations and select the recipient. Nominations may be submitted to the Foundation office by May 1. If deemed necessary, the committee will meet with the finalists prior to making the final selection.
In 2013 and 2014, The EGR Schools Foundation was fortunate to be awarded consecutive annual grants from The Perrigo Company Foundation. Each year, the $3,000 in funds are designated to be used in two ways: $2,000 to assist in math and science education in our public schools, and $1,000 that must be awarded to a graduating student(s) for further study in a math or science related program at a college or university of their choosing.
These recipients are selected by committee. no application is necessary.
These funds are not guaranteed year to year and are awarded only on the years that EGRSF has the opportunity to apply for them.
The EGR Schools Foundation is grateful to The Perrigo Company Foundation for their support of math and science education in our schools.