Archive for April, 2011

(l-r): Kelly Rostin, Crown Point High School; Sarah Dora, Merrillville High School; Jeremy Washington, Hammond High School; Rose Mullaney, Bishop Noll Institute; Kimberly Reppa, Hanover Central High School; Je'len Gillis, Wirt Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy

Six Lake County students receive four-year, full-tuition scholarships

(MERRILLVILLE, Indiana) – Six outstanding Lake County students have been named recipients of four-year, full-tuition scholarships as the Legacy Foundation 2011 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.

Each Lilly Scholar will receive full tuition to the Indiana college of his or her choice and an $800 yearly stipend for required books and equipment.

The local 2011 Lilly Scholars are:

  • Sarah Dora of Merrillville High School, daughter of Daniel Dora and Kathryn Bihlman
  • Je’len Gillis of Wirt Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy in Gary, son of Gregory Gillis and Dana Robinson
  • Rose Mullaney of Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, daughter of Paul and Kelly Mullaney
  • Kimberly Reppa of Hanover Central High School, daughter of Paul and Denene Reppa
  • Kelly Rostin of Crown Point High School, daughter of Timothy and Kimberly Rostin
  • Jeremy Washington of Hammond High School, son of Jeff and Tameka Jones

“One of the most important roles of Legacy Foundation in Lake County is to support educational achievement,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “We are proud to recognize the many accomplishments of these young people as they begin their promising college careers, and to partner with Lilly Endowment in advancing them toward their futures.”

Each high school in Lake County was invited to submit an applicant for the prestigious Lilly scholarships. A total of 208 students from 25 schools applied. Those nominated by their high schools were evaluated based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership skills, service to others, character, a written narrative, demonstrated financial need and an interview.

After Legacy Foundation’s scholarship committee narrowed the field to six nominees and two alternates, the finalists’ names were submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) for the selection of the recipients. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 31 regionally accredited degree-granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state.

“The selection process is very difficult because all the candidates show significant academic achievement while participating in extracurricular activities, holding jobs and giving back to the community,” said Robert Nickovich, chairman of Legacy Foundation’s board of directors and a member of the Scholarship Committee. “The applicants from all the high schools have achieved a great deal at a young age, and we are confident that they will make important contributions to our community in the years to come.”

The Lilly scholarships were created in 1998 by a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Indiana students reach higher levels of education. Indiana ranks among the lowest states in the percentage of residents over the age of 25 with a bachelor’s degree.

This year community foundations around the state awarded 142 Lilly scholarships. Since the inception of the program, Legacy Foundation has awarded nearly 140 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships to Lake County students.

Legacy Foundation manages more than 25 scholarship programs. Lake County residents who will graduate high school this year still have time to apply for numerous scholarship opportunities and are encouraged to check Legacy Foundation’s Web site for information at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org/scholarships.

The Lilly Scholars and their parents will be honored at a banquet in late April. In addition, winners of all scholarships managed by Legacy Foundation as well as current and past Lilly Scholars will be invited to a celebration of their achievements at a Gary South Shore Railcats game in June.

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Foundation awards $100,000 grant from Maria Reiner fund

(HOBART, Indiana) – The City of Hobart and Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s leading philanthropic partner, announced today a significant funding source to make the city’s first dedicated senior center a reality.

Legacy Foundation has approved a $100,000 grant from the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund to establish the center inside the former Hobart Middle School near Fourth and New streets. The 8,300-square-foot Maria Reiner Center will be open to Hobart residents and non-residents age 55 and over, and will feature a dining area, a theater room, a learning center with computers, and a health and fitness area.

“This is a proud day for the City of Hobart, specifically for the seniors in the community,” Hobart Mayor Brian K. Snedecor said. “The Maria Reiner Fund, in conjunction with Legacy Foundation, is making a significant contribution to the provision of a safe and enjoyable environment for Hobart seniors. We are proud that Maria Reiner, a member of our community, has demonstrated such leadership in philanthropy.”

Legacy Foundation manages the Maria Reiner Senior Citizens Fund along with more than 260 other funds providing grants and scholarships to benefit people throughout Lake County. Reiner was a Hobart resident who left her estate to be used for Hobart senior citizens. Past grants from her fund have been used to establish and sustain the highly successful Hobart Senior Transportation Program, which provides low-cost vouchers for participating taxi and bus services, and for cultural and civic events open to seniors.

“Legacy Foundation is proud to collaborate with the City of Hobart to enhance the quality of life for its citizens,” said Harry J. Vande Velde III, president and chief executive officer of Legacy Foundation. “Maria Reiner’s gift is a strong example of the power of philanthropy. Mrs. Reiner lived a quiet, unassuming life in Hobart, a town she clearly loved. Her generosity will have a positive impact on the citizenship of Hobart for generations to come.”

The senior center is expected to open in early summer.

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