SOS Foundation Awards First Scholarship Grants

It was a special night to remember and rejoice when SOS Foundation President Yancey Ford presented our charity’s first scholarship grants to three very deserving and appreciative young students during the annual SOS Dinner at the Innisbrook Golf Resort.


The SOS Foundation was created earlier this year as a certified 501-(c)(3) charity charged with the sole purpose of providing college scholarship assistance to the academically-qualified children of staff personnel working at clubs that host SOS competitions. To date, the SOS members have contributed $35,000 to the Foundation.


Two of the 2017 recipients of the $2,500 scholarships are long-time good friends McKenna Chefero and Hannah Murphy, both of whom are now sophomores at the University of South Florida.  The third recipient is Madison Duncan-Diejuste, who attends Palm Beach State College.


Ms. Chefero’s father, Paul, works in Banquet Management at the Innisbrook Resort. Ms. Murphy’s  mother, Nancy, is a senior sales manager at Innisbrook. Ms. Duncan-Diejuste’s mother, Kristina, shares duties in the Quail Ridge CC golf shop and locker room.


Yancey Ford proudly introduced the three scholarship recipients to the broad and highly-enthusiastic SOS Membership in attendance at the Dinner, and all three young ladies eloquently thanked Yancey and the SOS Foundation for its commitment to education.


McKenna Chefero is majoring in Entrepreneurship at South Florida; she is focusing on business management with a minor in Leadership Studies. “Someday I hope to own my own non-profit,” she says. In high school, McKenna played on the varsity golf team as a senior and she dabbles in golf with a Club Team at South Florida. “I really appreciate what the Society of Seniors Foundation has done for me,” she says. “This scholarship means a whole lot to me and to my family.”


Hannah Murphy is majoring in Criminology and aspires to attend Law School and become a Defense Attorney. “When I was in high school I used to babysit for Jessica Lowe, National Golf Sales Manager,” Hannah says. “She told my mother all about the SOS Foundation Scholarship. We filled out all the paperwork and I did the interview with the Society of Seniors Scholarship Committee on Skype. It was a great day when I received the call telling me that I’d be getting the $2,500 scholarship.”


Madison Duncan-Diejuste attends Palm Beach State College and aspires to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. “My mother is a single parent of four children,” she says, “and I am the third to attend college. The SOS Foundation Scholarship is a big help for me and for my family. I cannot thank the SOS enough for its gracious generosity.”


The SOS Foundation thanks those SOS members who have already donated to the Foundation. In announcing the formation and the purpose of the Foundation, the charity’s Board suggested that SOS members donate an annual minimum of $100 to the Foundation over a three-year period so that the Foundation could become self-sustaining by the year 2020.


At this time a number of SOS members have made long-term commitments to the Foundation through annual giving, transfers of stock and plans to include the Foundation in their wills. Indeed, some TK SOS members made an initial gift to the Foundation of $1000 or more.


Before the New Year, the SOS Foundation will once again reach out to the SOS membership with information as to how members can make a gift to the Foundation. Thanks in no small part to the very gracious and touching remarks from McKenna, Hannah and Madison at the Annual Dinner, the Foundation knows it is on the right track.


Society of Seniors

1570 West First Ave.

Columbus, OH 43212



Early Ace Scholarships Awarded

The Early Ace Scholarship Fund was established to support students graduating from public high schools in the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro, and the counties of Rockingham, Augusta and Shenandoah. Candidates are students planning to continue their education at a four-year public college in Virginia. Preference is given to students planning to work toward a bachelor’s degree with a science, engineering or business major. Preference may also be given to first generation college students.


The selection committee interviewed students and considered the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Academic performance
  • Character and drive to succeed
  • Field of study/Chosen career path


Once of the unique components of this scholarship is the requirement to meet and work with a mentor throughout college. The Community Foundation staff works with the recipient’s college/university to assist in the selection of the mentor. Recipients of the Early Ace Scholarship are expected to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA while being enrolled full-time. Recipients of the award may renew the scholarship for all four years of college, if meeting the criteria for renewal.


2017 Early Ace Scholarships were awarded to:


William Lam (Central High School) – attending Virginia Tech University

Iain Slater (Turner Ashby High School) – attending James Madison University

Nicole Young (Stuarts Draft High School) – attending James Madison University


Claude & Frances Warren Scholarship Awarded

Claude E. Warren was devoted to athletics in Harrisonburg. From 1932 through 1971 Claude Warren was the “face” of athletics at HHS. He served as football, basketball, baseball, and track coach from 1932 until the early 1960s, continuing as Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director until his retirement in 1971.


Coach Warren was known for his belief in fundamentals and high standards of personal conduct. He influenced thousands of students including a former athlete, quoted by the Daily News-Record in 1957 following an appreciation dinner to celebrate Warren’s 25 years of coaching, who said, “I know of no other persons, aside from my parents, along my school route who did more to prepare me for this ‘game of life’ than did Coach Warren. You can’t turn your back on his records at HHS, but what really counts now that I look back on my days as a Blue Streak was his coaching philosophy. Call it character-building or call it anything you like, I know what he gave to me along the route.”


In 1961, Harrisonburg High School’s new field house was named in his honor. He appreciated a very supportive wife, Frances, who supported him throughout his career. When the new Harrisonburg High School was built in 2005, the entire sports complex was named, the Claude E. Warren Sports Complex.


The purpose of the Claude & Frances Warren Scholarship Fund is to support scholarships for Harrisonburg High School students. Eligible candidates are students planning to compete in an intercollegiate sport, or in a post-graduate year preparing to compete in an intercollegiate sport. Special consideration was given to students also planning to pursue a degree in an athletic related field of study (athletic training, athletic coaching, health administration, health education, physical education, or kinesiology), or to students planning to coach and teach. In addition, the Selection Committee considered:

  • Financial Need
  • GPA
  • Character, determination and leadership qualities


The recipient of the 2017 Claude & Frances Warren Scholarship is Casey Wilson. Casey will compete as a swimmer when she attends Roanoke College in the fall.


W.P. and T.M. Phillips Memorial Scholarships Awarded

The W.P. and T.M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship was established by Mrs. Thelma M. Phillips in memory of her late husband, William “Bill” Phillips, to honor his love of farming. Thelma and Bill spent a lifetime together enjoying farm life and working in agribusiness. This scholarship provides support to students who wish to continue the farming tradition which Bill and Thelma loved so much.


Students eligible to receive this scholarship will be pursuing a college degree in the field of agriculture. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who graduate from one of the following local high schools:

Broadway High School
Harrisonburg High School
Stonewall Jackson High School

Consideration was given to the student’s academic record, chosen college major, leadership qualities, and involvement in activities related to agriculture. This is a renewable award.


2017 recipients of the W.P. and T.M. Phillips Memorial Scholarship are:

Kayla Chandler (Broadway High School)

William Lohr (Broadway High School)

Michaela Loving (Broadway High School)

Emory & Henry College Scholarship Awarded

This scholarship was established by David W. Driver to provide financial assistance to students attending his alma mater, Emory & Henry College. This scholarship will be awarded annually for four years at $1,000 per year to a qualified incoming Emory & Henry College student.


Students eligible for this award must be graduating from any high school located in Harrisonburg, Virginia or Rockingham County. Consideration for the award is based on academic performance, demonstration of good character, self-motivation, leadership qualities and community involvement.


This scholarship is to support the student for their four-year education at Emory & Henry College as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic standing, preferably with a GPA of 2.5 or better on a scale of 4.0, and a minimum term GPA of 2.0.


The 2017 Emory & Henry College Scholarship was awarded to Zach Myers of Spotswood High School.

Marion James & Anna Ressler Hess Scholarship Awarded

Anna Ressler Hess

Marion James Hess

The family of Marion James and Anna Viola Ressler Hess established this scholarship in 2003. Marion and Anna Hess came to Oxford, PA, in 1937. Mr. Hess opened a barber shop which he operated until 1969. Mrs. Hess worked as the secretary to the principal of Oxford Area High School for 21 years, from 1957 until 1978. Anna Hess had always wanted to be a teacher but was unable to afford a four-year college education. They were both supporters of education, in particular, Oxford Area High School.



This merit scholarship award has been established to support a graduate of Oxford Area High School who is attending a 4-year college or university and is planning a career in teaching. The teaching career can be at any level: early childhood education, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college teaching, in any subject area. Graduating seniors are welcome to apply, as are former graduates who are currently enrolled or are planning to enroll in an accredited 4-year institution of higher learning. This is a merit-based scholarship. Financial need is not a criteria


The 2017 recipient of the Marion James & Anna Ressler Hess Scholarship is Virginia Bradbury (Ginger). Ginger will attend Millersville University in the fall.

Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship Awarded

Dennis and Patricia Early established this scholarship to support local students of Rockingham County high schools interested in studying in the fields of math or science, or in becoming a K-12 math or science teacher. Student career interests might include nursing, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, computer science and any other math or science based fields. The Earlys have dedicated their lives to education and to encouraging and supporting students in every way, and taught multiple generations of the same families. Patricia taught biology and chemistry and sponsored the yearbook and cheerleading. Dennis taught math and coached golf. They saw firsthand that many families lack resources and established this scholarship to help students reach their educational goals. This scholarship is intended to support qualified students who plan to attend Blue Ridge Community College, Bridgewater College, James Madison University, or


An eligible recipient must be a recent graduate of a Rockingham County high school and accepted at one of the above schools to obtain a Bachelor or Associate Degree with a math or science concentration. Although not required, preference will be given to students who plan to one day teach math or science. Preference also will be given to students from military families. This scholarship is to support the student for their two or four year education as long as the student is enrolled in said science or math program, is in good standing, and receives a 3.0 or better GPA while enrolled full-time. Student must submit a renewal application each year by the deadline. An eligible student must have demonstrated financial need.


The Selection Committee for the Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship interviewed potential candidates and determined a recipient based on the following criteria:

1-Financial need
2-Strong academic performance
3-Character, as well as civic and community service.


The 2017 recipient of the Dennis R. & Patricia R. Early Scholarship is Addison Shenk, graduate of Spotswood High School. Addison will attend Eastern Mennonite University in the fall and plans to major in Biology or Pre-Professional Health Sciences.

Arthur John Leavenworth – Eureka Lodge #195 Scholarships Awarded

This scholarship is named in honor of Arthur, “Art,” John Leavenworth by Rhonda Leavenworth Johnson. Rhonda’s father was a longtime member of the Eureka Lodge #195 located in Bridgewater. He contributed money personally to this scholarship and was known to crush and recycle aluminum cans to increase the funds available to donate to needy students.


The purpose of this scholarship fund is to provide at least two awards each year; one scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior at Turner Ashby High School and one is awarded to a graduating senior from Fort Defiance High School.  Consideration for this scholarship is given to applicants with financial need, who have demonstrated strong academic performance and community involvement.


2017 recipients of the Arthur John Leavenworth – Eureka Lodge #195 Scholarship are Megan Comfort from Turner Ashby High School and Blair Landram from Fort Defiance High School. Megan plans to attend Virginia Tech University, and Blair will begin at Blue Ridge Community College.

Laymon H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship Awarded

This scholarship fund is intended to support qualified graduate students in either the Seminary or the Master of Arts in Counseling at Eastern Mennonite University.


The Layman H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor who wanted to honor her parents, who have made the world a better place to live though their lifetime support of so many worthwhile causes. Their devotion to their faith and deep commitment to service have been outstanding features of their lives for over eight decades. The interest and enthusiasm they demonstrate for higher education and training in the human service fields has been an inspiration to others.


Consideration for this scholarship is given to applicants with demonstrated financial need, clear future goals, academic performance, character, and a sense of calling for the human service field.


Sabrina Burress, the 2017 recipient of the Laymon H. & Ruth S. Lantz Scholarship is a pursuing a Master of Arts degree in the Counseling program at EMU.



George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarships Awarded

The George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Mrs. Judith Shreckhise Strickler in memory of her father. George Shreckhise spent a lifetime enjoying and working in agribusiness, with an emphasis, later in life, in the nursery business. Horticulture is plant science that includes the study of plant growth and plant interactions with the environment (soil, air, water) to improve human life through the cultivation of crops and the maintenance of a sustainable environment. This scholarship, named for Mr. Shreckhise, supports students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Horticulture. Consideration is given to academic standing, leadership qualities, and volunteer or work experience related to Horticulture.


The 2017 recipients of the George W. Shreckhise Memorial Scholarship are both students at Virginia Tech University:

Ella Reeves (Dublin, VA)

Rachael LaFlamme (Granby, CT)


Ella Reeves was also a 2016 recipient of this scholarship.