Presenting the Smith College Book Award, 1997 Smith graduate Shayne Maratea said it best Wednesday during Wood River High School's Scholarship Awards Ceremony for the 2004-2005 year.
"This is a small community with huge resources," said Maratea.
Indeed, more than $180,000 in local scholarships were presented Wednesday to Wood River High School seniors active in academics, community affairs and leadership.
"This is an exciting evening. The dollars will be falling almost as copiously as the Seattle rain outside," said high school principal Graham Hume in his introduction to the nearly two-hour ceremony in the Community Campus auditorium.
Local organizations and individuals gave generously to help the graduating seniors pursue further education and chase their pursuits.
Leading the way was the Hailey Rotary, which has awarded scholarships at the high school since 1967. The Hailey Rotary, represented by Greg Bloomfield, gave six $1,000 grants and one $500 scholarship.
Ted Dankanyin received the Lawrence Heagle Scholarship. Lisa Feldhusen accepted the Joe Fuld Scholarship. Genii Vert was the winner of the Dick Jones Scholarship, and Kelsey Cordingley was awarded the Roberta McKercher Scholarship. Hailey Rotary Foundation grants went to David Ricsi and Sydney Leopold.
The biggest spike in scholarship amounts handed out in Blaine County since 2000 started with a two-hour meeting over coffee five years ago between Blaine County School District Superintendent Jim Lewis and locals Theresa Castellano-Wood and Benjamin Wood.
Since that meeting, the Works of Grace Foundation developed for the children of teachers has granted 31 scholarships totaling about $250,000—honoring almost 500 years of teaching experience, Castellano-Wood told the audience.
"The scholarships are meant to recognize and honor the amazing self-sacrifices of teachers," she said.
Winner of a $20,000 Works of Grace scholarship was graduating senior Lisa Feldhusen, bound for the University of Oregon.
Her classmate Erin McQueen accepted a $9,800 grant and Rachael Richards collected an $8,000 scholarship. The foundation also gave a $5,000 grant to 2001 Wood River High graduate Tyler Metzel.
Connie Johnson gave the $2,000 Idaho Mountain Express Scholarship to Max Kessler. This is the 18th year the Express has given grants to Blaine County students. In all, over $65,000 has been awarded since the Express program began in 1988.
Genii Vert, Ted Dankanyin, Britt VanPaepeghem, Elizabeth Pfordte and Barbara Coleman were recipients of the First Bank of Idaho $800 scholarships presented by Jim Latta and Bryan Furlong.
Jim Kino and Kelly Young gave the DL Evans Bank Scholarships to Barbara Coleman and Lauren Slane. Brian Korth presented the US Bank Scholarship to Lynsey Felger.
The Ketchum-Sun Valley Rotary Club represented by Pete Stommel gave a total $11,000 in scholarships to 10 students.
Winners of $1,000 grants were Barbara Coleman, Kelsey Cordingley, Ted Dankanyin, Lisa Feldhusen, Brittany Jones, Sydney Leopold, Madalyn Miller, Rachael Richards and Genii Vert. And, the Dean Donaldson Memorial Scholarship worth $2,000 went to David Ricsi.
Recipients of Sawtooth Board of Realtors scholarships were Syringa Stark, Lisa Feldhusen, Ted Dankanyin, David Ricsi, Dan Parnes and Ellen Reese.
Katie Zuck accepted the Cornerstone Realty $500 "Lifelong Learner" award from Suzanne Walsh.
Winners of the $500 Building Contractors of the Wood River Valley grants were Victor Salinas, Barbara Coleman and Rachael Richards.
Lauren Slane and Barbara Coleman, both interested in nursing careers, received the $500 Blaine County Education Foundation scholarships, given to vocational/technical students.
Kelsey Cordingley and Lisa Feldhusen earned scholarships from the 176-member Blaine County Education Association for teachers, President Deb Gutkneht announced.
The $1,000 Josh Pollock Memorial Scholarships from Power Engineers were given to Ted Dankanyin and David Ricsi. Announcing the 10th annual award was Sheila Pollock, mother of the 1991 Wood River High graduate and University of Michigan student who died at 22.
John Shay awarded the sixth Bob Shay Memorial Scholarship, given in memory of the influential Wood River High teacher who died in April 2000. Accepting the Shay grant was
Given for the second year were the Alan and Diane Johnson Memorial Scholarships. Matt Johnson and Brian Higgason presented the grants to David Ricsi and Barbara Coleman. Judy Shelly announced Dustin Hollenbeck as the recipient of the first-year Tyler Shelly Memorial Music Scholarship for $1,000.
Another second-year grant was the Brian J. Finegan Memorial Scholarship. This year, Donna Finegan gave grants to Chloe Thurston, Megan Sowersby and Tyler Thiede.
Steve Pruitt presented the sixth Boo Bushell Youth and Performing Arts Memorial Scholarship for $500 to Jessica Rice. The Mary Griffin Scholarship Award, a $5,000 renewable grant, will be presented at a later date.
The fifth annual Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton scholarships for $500 were presented by Michael Bulls to David Ricsi and Gillian Augustus. The F-Stop Scholarship for a talented photography and music student went to Philip J. Bradshaw.
Representing Wood River Valley insurance agents, Jack Dies revealed that the winners of the group's fourth annual scholarships were Abel Grimaldo and Craig Werley.
Jessica Rice and David Ricsi received the $1,000 Hailey Masonic Lodge Scholarships, presented by Ted Angle.
The Wood River Odd Fellows and Rebekahs renewable $1,000 scholarship was given to Erin Moulton. Presenting the seventh-year award was Debra Kronenberg.
Mary Ann Knight announced the winner of the Upper Big Wood River Grange $1,000 scholarship. The recipient was Matt Sloan. The Webb Landscaping $1,000 scholarships were presented by Dave Johanningmeier to Genii Vert and Jessica Rice.
The Blaine/Camas Farm Bureau scholarship went to Lisa Feldhusen.
The Student of Hispanic Origin $1,000 continuing scholarships provided by Barbara and Jim Cimino were given to Abel Grimaldo and Louie Cibrian. Pat Weaver also presented the Barbara Cimino Memorial Scholarships. The renewable $1,000 grant winners were prospective nursing students Barbara Trautwein and Kayle Dugger.
Shayne Maratea presented the Smith College Book Award for an outstanding junior to Hadley DeBree. Mollie Currie gave the Colby College Book Award to another outstanding junior, Reinet Benhcke.
The Surfing Heritage award went to Chloe Thurston, bound for the University of Hawaii/Manoa.
This year, the eighth annual Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities Scholarship Program is awarding more than $35,000 in scholarships to 32 Blaine County students and four educators in the visual, literary and performing arts, presenter Britt Udesen told the audience.
Scholarships are financed through proceeds of the Sun Valley Wine Auction, she said.
The grant recipients for summer programs were Alan Beserra, Sophia Blunt, Dustin Bradley, Hillary Elmore, Samantha Engel, Esther Garza, Collin Hand, Chyna Karterman, Simone Kastner, Kelcie McCallister, Kate Nelson, Rika Pere, Anneka Preston, Allison Rust, Molly Sides, Brian Town and Lucas King.
The Center's Gay Weake Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 went to Erin Moulton. Receiving $1,000 Center grants were Tyler Thiede and Dustin Hollenbeck.
The $5,000 Ezra Pound Scholarships for visual arts through the Hailey Cultural Center were presented by Betty Rodger-Ervin to Wood River juniors Marne Elmore and Kelcie McCallister.
A highlight of the assembly was the presentation of "Dollars for Scholars" $1,000 scholarships to 16 Wood River students. Much of the money was raised in March during a fund-raising seafood dinner at the Idaho National Guard Armory, according to presenter Audrey Bashaw.
"Dollars for Scholars" recipients were Amberle Behr, Lisa Feldhusen, Brady Femling, Max Kessler, Billy Kramer, Shelly Lindsey, Erin Moulton, Cale Nottingham, Ben Parker, Jessica Rice, Rachael Richards, David Ricsi, Travis Risner, Matt Sloan, Genii Vert and Katie Zuck.
Awarded for the 12th year were the Leon Friedman Memorial Scholarships, which have amounted to over $400,000 during that time, according to presenters Debra Magee and Janet Keys. This year, 40 scholarships for $22,000 were awarded to current Wood River High students.
Friedman recipients for $1,000 were Genii Vert, Syringa Stark, Dan Parnes and Sydney Leopold.
The $500 scholarship winners were Lacey Boyett, Kelsey Cordingley, Lisa Feldhusen, Max Kessler, Tyson Reynoso, Rachael Richards, Britt VanPaepeghem, Barbara Coleman, Ted Dankanyin, Marissa Evans, Madalyn Miller, Lisa Nilsen, Cale Nottingham, Matt Sloan, Laura Williams, Amberle Behr, Kelly Crabtree, Jonathan Dittmer and Erin Moulton;
Also, Laura Parker, Jessica Rice, Tyler Thiede, Chloe Thurston, Katie Zuck, Jubal Brown, Roderick Brown, Evan Hess, Matt Jost, Ben Parker, Craig Werley, Teal Kenny, Shelly Lindsey, David Ricsi, Lauren Slane, Dustin Hollenbeck and Gil lian Augustus.
For more photos of the scholarship winners, check the June 8 Local Life section of the Idaho Mountain Express.